Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Humpty Dumpty took a great fall as with substance abuse

Today I am talking about a three part series in the newspaper about a volunteer informant who was lured by angry drug transporters to a house, tortured and killed, despite being under the protection of law enforcement trying to keep track of him after a drug shipment had been confiscated. Well, this is drug war at the top where the big shipments of drugs come into Phoenix to be distributed across the country.
At the bottom level, we the people deal with the substance abusers who get so out of control they have to be evicted which happened recently in our complex to a resident who had been sober quite a few years. He was a popular attractive man so his meltdown to the status of homeless on the hard streets of blazing summer heat in Arizona was disturbing. I had seen him a few months before his descent back into alcoholism act as though he were under the influence of drugs I assumed to be illegal, and was alarmed, knowing that could be a trigger to a drinking pattern so extreme that death could well be the result.
I just don't know if Humpty Dumpty can ever be put back together again so he can survive a few more years. If not, his loss will seem like a frightful waste.
My own take on such loss of control is that we need better and more communication. That is why I have taken to talking each day out under the trees to everybody and anybody. I have given up TV so as to free up more time and energy for this important activity.
I think TV watching, all of us in our separate little cubicles, has changed us into lonely disconnected people, and the only answer is to make time for what used to be called 'neighboring' once again. The more bad news we hear on TV, the more fearful we become of everyone, and actually the more we don't talk, the more dangerous we may actually be, because TV watching is not interactive. Only a few people get to perform. So during hours and hours of TV related inactivity, we tend to abuse substances alarmingly. Even our children get fat from inactivity. And we remain undeveloped in so many ways, which is the fate of those who only watch and do not do.
Kids interacting only with a box do not develop social skills needed to raise communication to higher levels. It is no wonder political squabbles sound like people who have no understanding of what other people are all about, a bunch of ranting.
The internet invites more partipation from everyone which is what we need. I choose it over TV as my activity using the technological. I choose reading because so much more depth can be put into a good book which is not possible with TV and all the controls exerted over it by advertisers, etc.
I feel I have already made strides in my communication just by focusing on it and making sure I do it. I have been having the most interesting indepth conversations with an amazing amount of people. Why no TV program could be any more fascinating. I am hearing lots of stories of childhood difficulties that people have survived. And all the time I can see the people reviving like wilted flowers with attention focused on them and their stories. I have tried to watch so many shoddy creations on TV for so many years. I just did not have the courage to free myself from TV bondage. There was always the chance I might miss something. Now I think of what I have missed by spending so many years watching.
Had my friend been convinced that his salvation lay in communication, talking about his feelings of depression and boredom, perhaps he would not be fighting for his life in the hard mean streets. I knew he suffered from boredom, as he would say it. But he just did not connect enough before he substituted a concoction of poisonous substances to give him his high. Too many years among people addicted to the box. We were programmed to think we could not get along without it. I am freeing myself slowly and feeling sad because it may be too late for him. So think of change before it is too late!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Time for meditation

Giving up TV gives me more time for meditation and I find that I can use all of it. The beautiful picture above I got from Connie's Secret Garden. It reminded me that preparing for passing, especially at my age, is a good idea. I have just been reading a book called Elizabeth Bayley Seton, America's only American cannonized by the Catholic Church. This poor woman, living back in the early 1800's was constantly having to administer to a family member dying of any one of the prevelent diseases back then like consumption and yellow fever. She buried her husband and two daughters and three of her husband's younger sisters before she died. One son followed her three years later. She was only 47 years old when she died, young to have accomplished all she did to be canonized. But I was struck by how important it is to Catholics to be with people who are ailing to help them prepare for death, so that their passing, even when young, will not be so traumatic.
Although I know I cannot become a Catholic at this late date, I think every religion offers us valuable insights and wisdom gathered through the ages to deal with crisis. I really enjoyed this book. This woman went through trials that would have bowed and broken most, but instead she handled every crisis with such wisdom that she inspired all those around her, tough to do.
I am sure she became an angel quite fast, and I thought I bet she is helping on the other side still, to bring people across the divide with their faith still glowing as hers did, acting as a beacon to all those who knew her and read about her.
I have got more time now to read inspirational books like this. Of a greater depth than you can find on TV. I felt I had gained another friend. Not many try to be a friend to all as she did.
I think her most heart breaking trials were the deaths of her two daughters. Her oldest daughter was a beauty who had an unhappy romance when quite young. The young man, handsome as a prince and wealthy, raised high expectations in her heart and then went back to his Island home and married another. The very next winter she came down with a galloping form of consumption and died. You could almost say this sensitive beautiful girl died of a broken heart. While she was dying, the younger sister fell on the ice but did not tell anyone how badly she was hurt. A couple or so years later a tumor developed on her hip and she, too, died. Most of us just don't know what it is to live in such times. Now both girls might have been saved to live many more years. Then Mother Seton fell prey to consumption. Her husband had died of it in his thirties. Consumption was a terrible killer in those days. I think of the many tranquil days I have enjoyed with my family in good health, and how many crises she had to face in those tough times. There is no comparison, so thanks to research and the advance of learning, many of us have had many carefare days, which I am thankful for. You just have to read one of these well kept accounts of the 'old days' to know how lucky we really are!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Farmers Market bouquet from Doc

Doc took the photo of me sniffing
the bouquet he bought me at the Farmer's Market this morning. He also bought two small water melon and four peaches. I bought a package of oatmeal granola to cook. So we came home happy.
A trip to the Farmer's Market refreshes my soul. I got four peaches yesterday at Bashas which ships in Utah peaches every year. I feel better eating the highly flavorful Utah peaches at least once a year.
A trip to the Farmer's Market tends to diminish the effects of yesterdays concerns, and you have the feeling of starting anew. I recommend a trip to your local Farmer's Market to start the weekend. I am so glad one is close by

Friday, September 25, 2009

More pool magic and visit to the doctor

Health and swimming go together for me, and since this summer was extra hot, I could only feel dismay that they were closing the pool all summer. Naturally I hardly exercised since you do not walk in anything from 110 to 115 degree heat. Now at last the pool has been opened again, but the weather is starting to turn so it will be a little too chilly for me in a few days. But that also means I will be able to walk comfortably again.
The results were evident at the doctor's yesterday where the scales said I had gained 6-8 pounds since I was there last January. Which is why I have been letting Doc call me the fat therapist. If I had not gained weight, believe me, I would not put up with so much kidding. This weight gain is definitely not a good thing. Now my sugar is probably going to be up to the point I will need to start taking pills. I am going in next week for a blood test for that He also wants to test me with an ultra sound to see how the arteries and veins are in my legs next week. I say the main culprit has been lack of exercise. That is when weight can get away from you.

In the meantime I had Doc come down and take a grand tour of the pool which looks like it is brand new. After the video was taken, four tables with benches were brought in (photo). They are the most substantial we have ever had in the pool area since I have been here. Also lights have been installed in the bottom of the pool so some night swimming will be permitted. Hey, since this pool is a historical feature and cannot be taken out, everything possible is being done to get people to swim in it. I am sure the renovation cost a pretty penny. I certainly appreciate it. No, HUD complexes don't come with swimming pools. This just happened to be a historical site, an old luxury hotel made into a HUD complex, and the city wants those preserved as is, lucky for us. Looks like I will be living here indefinitely or until health fails me, since I am now even more in love with this giant pool! A cool swimming pool in Arizona summer heat is heaven.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grandson Dante calls from church

It was during a break and he was outside. He was surprisingly chatty and we talked for a long time, covering all the subjects we usually talk about thoroughly. I have to laugh at how he talks about church. I say so you are going to church on Sunday and Wednesday? He says, "Yes, that's all I can stand." Then he would say, "Oh, somebody talking in tongues takes hold of me and I say git away from me!" I said does your mom talk in tongues. He says oh a little bit. But all this was said in a tone of affection for Dante really loves his mom. You don't get named Angelina without taking on some of the aspects of angel, and his mom looks after her siblings as well as her children. She is the oldest and because her mom got into drugs and still dips into them now and then, she became the little mother. Her mom is the tragedy of the family. Dante said she is still lost to the family for the time being.
It is impossible for my son Dan, his father, to be anything but irreverent about church, so his mom and dad sometimes have running arguments. His mom highly objects to Dan teaching Dante to be irreverent about her church. I said, Angelina, Dante has been a skeptic since he was born, just like Dan, and a big tease. You have to accept his nature. Dante was in fact making me laugh when he could barely talk. He fell in love with swear words for their shock value, so he swore like a little sailor which his dad was at the time, when he could barely talk. His mom could not blame that on his dad because he was sailing the seven seas three years straight.
Dan has learned to soft pedal his irreverence around Angelina, and he better or he will hear from her! Last night Dante was making me laugh with his teasing irreverent remarks. This is his dad all over, however Dante also has some of his Mom's sensitive nature which is why he is able to love and appreciate his mom and dad both, which sometimes takes a stretch.
I will never forget taking him out in his stroller when he was about 3, when I was staying with his mom in San Diego after his dad shipped out to sea for a tour. Little Dante caught sight of a church across the street and remarked, "My Dad said burn the church! My mom said that's not nice!" I told Dan when I saw him shame on him for teaching his son such stuff, you have to be more careful with your joking, but I could see Dante struggling to get the differences straight between his mom and dad's thinking.
Now he kids around with his dad and has a great time, but he also goes to church with his mom and keeps his more irreverent teasing remarks to himself if they upset her.
In the meantime I always worried about what could happen to such a kid, but he and his dad have become friends after a long struggle. He has taught my son Dan patience. Dante said to me once that on a scale of difficult dads from 1 to 10, his dad was a 13. Once he even said, "When I get old enough, I might even kill him." Another time I talked about him being out of control and his dad the only one who could rein him in. Dante said in front of his dad, "Yes, he has made my life a living hell!" I did say, well, most kids could not say such stuff to a mean dad, so the fact you can discuss yours right in front of him is a hopeful sign. I felt forced to tell his dad more than once I thought he was too mean and he was losing his temper with Dante.
I can hardly wait to take a photo now of Dante in his new ROTC haircut. He said he loves ROTC, and I said, well, no wonder, you have been playing war games on video practically your whole life. He says he likes his high school better, and he sounds happier. For the moment he is not getting in any trouble with his irreverence in his classes, which tends to happen when he gets bored. He was joking about girlfriends saying he had three who all said, "Pick me, pick me!" What a kid!

Dante and his dad in recent photo

In the last photo, Dante's young grandma, Cookie, is on the left of him, and his beautiful mom, Angelina, is on the right.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Giving up TV for the world

Note header. I actually went in the pool for the first time today since they finished renovating it. They said that about 15 or so people went in. I had Doc come down to take this photo and he took a video of it I will post in a day or so. This trip into the world was very bracing and refreshing!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Homeless walk

This morning I took a long walk over to McDonald's and back, which is a favorite spot for the homeless. But few were there. I did not venture further into the area where the big homeless shelter is. I once went by there on the bus and was shocked to see what looked like two or three hundred people standing out waiting for something, distribution of food, or maybe to get into the shelter for night. It was a definite shock to see that many homeless gathered together.
I find in the last three weeks I have come to the point of avoiding anyone who talks against the homeless and why they are. There but for the grace of god-- I am not going to argue with anyone. I am just going to avoid negative remarks about people so desperate as to abandon security and a place to live.
There are other forms of desperation here, when people get sick and can't function as they must to manage independent housing. Then management is notified if neighbors get concerned, and they have someone come in and assess just how incapacitated the ailing person is. I know that when people are sick they don't want to leave a familiar place, so many try to conceal illness or injury. So this morning some of us were trying to assess just how sick one person was and whether someone in the office needed to know.
I decided I could not keep going over to the Silvercrest to play pool. I can't manage two places at once I have concluded. There is a pool table here and I have found more players, so I will just hope I will find people to play with if I stick to practicing here. I feared I was interrupting regular routines over there and I need to be consistent if I am going to go over there. I had the flu and couldn't go at all for days. They need to be able to rely on me in order for me to be accepted as a regular. Besides the lunch there is too much off my diet, so I don't want to make going over there a regular habit. It is not vegetarian enough.
Raymond called on his way home from SF. He plans to stop in St. George and get his computer into a repairman, so he can report to you all about SF. I can't really do justice to the experience.
The swimming pool opened today, and people were testing the water which most claimed was lovely. So I am going in tomorrow afternoon. I usually don't swim past the 15th of September but this is special. So many have been watcing the renovation with interest, I am hoping they will be inspired to swim!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"My therapist has developed a derriere obsession"

Here is Doc's latest video which he orchestrates, names, and is in general responsible for. The title has nothing to do with what is inside the video, but refers to the upcoming one. He has taken to referring to me as his 'therapist.' What he is talking about here was the hour and a half I spent trying to get a frame shot of my derriere so it could be featured as a photo. He was impressed with my persistence when I set out to do something. He was also impressed to think I would work this hard to get a photo of my fat self. However, I have decided the best approach to being fat is to become comedic about it. Anything is more tolerable if you and others are able to laugh at the condition.
I will throw in here that Jack appeared homeless yesterday, frightfully sunburned, with people gathering around him, mostly women trying to figure out how to help him. One younger woman said she had spent one whole day this past week with him trying to get him into the mission, but after all that effort, she realized that Jack was not yet ready to sober up so he could go into the mission or any other rescue place, so to date Jack remains unrescued. It was all I could do to keep from following him down the street after he was chased away by security and doing my bit in trying to rescue him. Haven't I spent hours in here through the years figuring out how Jack could be kept sober.
Now I would say hundreds are involved in trying to get Jack sober. I decided a long time ago he belonged to the world. I am trying to give Doc to the world. I have always thought marriage to one person was dreadfully confining and one really ought to be able to talk to more. In the interest of getting Doc out there, I have helped him create a blog and a Youtube channel of his own. He is taking right to it. He will spend a half an hour thinking up the name of his video like the above. I don't know if all will appreciate his zany sense of humour but anybody who knows Doc knows he is zany.
I am also helping to launch off my friend LaRena's new blog (See Winter of Life on my blog list). She starts with a magnificent big photo header.
I am all for everyone blogging, everyone belonging to the world. Sister Ann is writng about quilts in her blog at the moment, KanyonlandKing. This means that there will be less for anybody who gets famous, because that is what happens when everyone gets famous. Less for more. It used to be that only extremely talented and intelligent and gifted people were thought to be worthy of fame, but this hardly seems fair since they usually had nothing to do with being born that way. So I have spent my lifetime trying to get everyone I know famous. So as all these people I know start blogging that means I will get to your blog a little less often, but when I do come I will try to catch up with all I have missed, as we share the fame.
Some bloggers are wonderful encouragers to bloggers keeping up with an astronomical number of blogs already. Heavens blessings rain down on them because they recognize the value of each human being and their opinions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kerynn's snuggle blanket

The lady who knits these warm little snuggle blankets (click on photo to see color and texture) returned to the Farmer's Market and I got to talking to her and decided to buy the lavender blanket and send it to my new great grand daughter Kerynn, even though I did buy her the tye dress, but I did that partly because the tye dye lady had been ill and it made her so happy to sell me a little dress, so now this baby has two gifts I just love from her great grandmother. I hope she grows to love her little snuggle blanket and next spring she will be big enough to wear her tye dye dress.
Going to the Farmer's market is so fulfilling. I bought a little watermelon and some delicious local peaches. Some wonderful home made pasta and good nine grain bread. I bought a little carrot cake and two mushroom tamales. Then I went to pick up my meds at Walgreens and got a few other groceries, so I am set for the week I think.
Oh and I found out for sure I had a stomach ailment going around as two other guys out on the patio described having the exact same thing, including excrutiating pains and having to lay around a week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting better and better

I still don't know what I had, but now I am leaning toward the flu since it was going around here. When I got low enough it may have struck, but whatever it was I had the worst pains I have ever had with a stomach ailment. And I kept on having cramps and pains as it went on through my system. Ordinarily, especially if I stick to this mild vegetarian diet, my digestive system works very well.
I could not wait to display this header Connie sent me. Don't you like it? That is my son Gary, Raymond, and me in Phoenix. I put some old photos on Facebook and this was one of them.
Not much else is going on. Dan was going to bring my grandson Dante over to spend Saturday night but he went camping with his mother instead.
Heard from Raymond as he was driving up the coast who said his computer crashed during the second show, but there was a musician on board (him) who played the music live instead, and people said they liked it better! So we may not hear from him until he gets back to Utah and gets his computer fixed.
My sister Linda reported that her reading went well at a SF book store. Everyone is happy she is getting attention for her poetry and sculpture, plus she is around two grandchildren while they are still growing up. She is very active in tending them now until their parents get home from work. Raymond said his cousin Rissy and husband Rich had been incredibly generous and supportive of him while he's been in SF with his show. Scott, Linda's son, has a job helping them fix up the house they just moved from for a rental. Scott went to SF with Raymond to do the tech on his show.
Sister Ann has just done a quilt photo and poem for her blog KanyonlandKing. Now everyone is going to send her photos of the quilts she has given them. I have one I treasure I won at a family reunion. It's an anniversary quilt with everyone in the family sending either embroidered or painted blocks of what their families were doing. This was Ann's idea. It was my Grandma and Grandma Wilson's 50th anniversary, and Ann put a photograph of them in the center block. It is quite a unique quilt because of all the families who contributed a block. When I feel better I will try to get a good photo of it and show you. I have always been interested in quilt making even if I didn't do it because so many of my ancestors were great quilt makers. Ann said she just likes doing it. All I could think of is these Mormon handicrafter relatives will keep me from writing forever if I don't fight sewing with all my might!
I have been reading a beautiful memoir by Pearl Buck, the famous Nobel Prize winner, who wrote The Good Earth. This one is called My Several Worlds as her first language was Chinese. China was where she was raised by her missionary parents.
I am wondering if I feel well enough to go to Staples and get a cartridge for my printer. I am thinking of making a copy of my memoirs in preparation for trying to publish them in book form eventually. See you all later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Planned Parenthood and Center of Reproductive Rights file lawsuits to strike down Arizona restrictions on abortion signed into law by Gov. Brewer

Since President Obama also issued a stern warning to Wall Street today that they must become accountable for their actions in producing our economic bankruptcy, the headlines might well have read, "President Obama, how can we curb the groups reponsible for our spiritual bankruptcy due to legalized abortion?"
The New York based Center of Reproductive Rights certainly with an euphemism for a name for support of abortion rights has filed their lawsuit in the federal court in Phoenix while Planned Parenthood has filed theirs in Maricopa Country Superior Court, both claiming that the restrictions recently passed and imposed by law on Arizona abortions are unconstitutional.
It is clear to see that for some people there is nothing wrong with trying to keep anything from impeding the abortion of a child. I don't see how we can go by any twist of the 'law of privacy' or whatever will be used to try to say that these restrictions are unconstituitional while it is supposed to be constituitional now to take the life of the unborn.
Nurse practitioners do half of the abortions now, but the new restrictions require a physician which will certainly make them harder to get. Parental consent for underage teens wanting an abortion is another restriction requiring a notarized parental signature.
You would think that any people with common sense would see legalized abortion leads to spiritual bankruptcy. We cannot get away with killing the unborn without a rupture from the whole idea of what divine justice is all about. Little children are murdered here in Arizona on a daily basis almost. That is a clear manifestation of spiritual bankruptcy with not enough leaders the murderers are going to respect to tell them they are wrong. There is too much blood of children on everybody's hands.
When we decided some years back legalized abortion had to be a 'right' for every woman, we opened the door to more murders of children. Anybody with common sense ought to be able to see the effect of letting down the bars and the restraints to the violent taking of life. Each act takes the same kind of action, death to the child. Each act bears a very close relation to the other.
The people are becoming more hardened and determined not to listen every day. The longer we wait to do something about legalized abortion the greater the spiritual bankruptcy of our nation will be.

Gerry King (Hitt)

Letter sent to Arizona Republic and published in my blog G4Life on Az Central

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Musings of a Piano Girl" inspired me today

She is on my blog list. Some of you know her from J-land. Morgan. She kind of quit blogging here and there and now she is looking for her readers as she launches off into more energetic blogging. I love this young lady because she is so creative and passionate. She also has a Youtube channel called Minstrel of the Keys, also on my blog list, where she plays the piano for us. I love the one called "Song of the Minstrel." I listened to it once a while back and tonight I went again and listened to it. It fit my mood. She says she is going to record more for us. I certainly hope so.
I saw the headline on her blog today and it alarmed me. It read "Hate is too great a burden to bear" and I hastened to her blog to see what had happened.
Well, this brave young woman heard a group of girls being hateful to another little group on the bus, so she decided to come to their defense. She gave the abusers a reaction I was proud to hear, but I was a little scared, too, as I used to get when my daughter Ronda would leap into the fray of battle when she thought someone was being attacked unfairly.
I always say pick your fights carefully. But I thought Morgan spoke brave truthful words for us all when she saw mean people hurting others who could not defend themselves.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good old country livin' just made me tard or how I got chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue keeps me practically bedridden for a week

I hate when that happens as I always like people to be able to rely on me, but Jack's eviction and his condition afterwards was enough to send me into that week of mourning manifesting in extreme fatigue. Now it was alcoholism pure and simple on his part. Everyone has a different pattern of drinking, and when Jack started drinking you would want to run for the hills. I don't really blame management for his eviction. In fact, if anything they might have waited too long on his last binge. I thought he was about five days from death then and it turned out that he developed a raging case of blood poisoning from infections due to his scrapes and cuts while drinking and would undoubtedly have died if they had not caught it in time and treated him for 11 days in the hospital.
Now I have found out that the cause of his second inexplicable meltdown was getting the news that one of his kids had died. Well, that's a big one, so now I can sort of understand a lot better why he stumbled again after so many people had rallied to try to help him sober up. Jack has lived here ten years and a lot of people felt they had a connection to him. That was the kind of guy he was. But I think he thought he was superman or something. Not even he could come back from such heavy bouts of drinking without being evicted, rendering him homeless, and hardly even able to cope, which at the time seemed like it might be a death sentence.
I have not heard what happened to him, but I hope he is on the road to recovery somewhere rather than dead.
In the meantime I was going to have a period of mourning, inevitably, for the kind of person he was when he was sane and sober. I always paid tribute to him for that. He kept the monster at bay for five years. And I could see at times what a struggle he was having to do it.
Which tells me we can never stop studying alcoholism which has a grip on so many people.
Then on top of that I had to poison myself with my own out of date food. I have learned my lesson about eating out of date food I hope. I drank just milk yesterday and finally ate a little bowl of oatmeal last night. I am going to have to be careful what I eat for a few days, but I am pretty much recovered.
I eventually have to tell people that if I disappear for a few days that just means I had to take some recovery time for something. My chronic fatigue is connected to probably scarlet fever in childhood as well as an inordinate amount of stress due to my Dad's drinking and coping with molestation by two of his hired men. It compromised my stamina and would start manifesting whenever the stress was extreme. This was undoubtedly my body's way of saying limitations had been reached as to the stress a human can stand.
The fact that too little is known and understood about what different kinds of extreme fatigue can mean can be very dangerous. The worst thing that can happen when you are already compromised is to experience extreme stress from some new source. This you try to avoid at nearly all costs. It's like having a car accident when you are already very sick. So when I am in quite a long period of recovery I try to avoid any new stresses like the plague.
Everybody comes to understand the fatigue pattern that goes with their own diseases and health conditions as with MS and diabetes. Any disease is going to involve fatigue. Serious fatigue. That is the body manifesting limitation. It's saying, "you can't do this any longer without rest." Whatever it takes, retreat, distancing to relieve the demands on the body to react.
Just because I don't know the exact point of origin of my condition, I have had a time with doctors. I am better off treating myself. I have talked to quite a lot of people who say mono started all their problems with chronic fatigue. Mono is their point of origin, even when doctors were saying there was no medical evidence of it. That just means they have not researched it, and are not likely too as long as a great many more people are sick with something else. AIDs, diabetes, alcoholism, cancer, heart disease, these are all conditions about which a great deal is known because so many people have these diseases attention must be focused on them. So I had to be content with the idea that there were mostly no answers about my condition, just speculation. But I remember whining to everyone for months, "What do I have? What could this be? Surely I am not the only person in the world to be knocked out for two years and not know what it is!" This was when I was having some long terrible bout of it that never seemed to end. Chronic fatigue for months, which is why I had to seek disability. I finally figured out that work was doing it, something in my body was burned out, so if I worked very long I'd soon be running on empty. Oh, it gets difficult at times being your own doctor. But I figured that is why God gave me a brain, to figure out what was mysterious, and what about it was real and what wasn't.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Doc has a new Youtube channel and a new blog!

You will find them both listed in my blog list. While I was down there working on his stuff, I ate some of his food which was way too strong for me and was sick all evening. My daughter warned me that if I went off my mild vegetarian diet to be careful as it would be harder to disgest. I have learned my lesson. I tried to call Doc 3 different times to tell him when it was the worst, but he was fast asleep. It is 2am and I am starting to feel better so I guess it isn't serious.
3:30 pm. Stomach is still upset. I think now it is the last thing I ate which was blueberries, cheerios, and some organic soy milk that is causing the problem with my stomach touchy from eating Doc's stuff. Either the blueberries had gone bad or the soy milk. That is what it feels like. I had let that soy milk sit in the fridge quite awhile. I don't like that brand, maybe for good reason. I will have to stick to Silk.
Anyway Doc's blog is called Rick n Doc Emde, which I helped him create so he can put some of his art work in it, and perhaps be inspired to do more. His youtube channel is no longer TheMadDoc666 as he fretted and stewed over that 666 once he decided it was bad, until I deleted his account and started over. He seems quite interested in deciding what to put in both, so we will see how that goes.
I am still cautious about hanging out there long other than when I am working with him. I am limiting my time there still.
Oh, by the way don't you like the header Connie made from a frame taken off the video?

P.S. Morning. Now I know I have the flu. Some people I was having coffee and tea with out on the patio had it, but my immunity was up good then. If you go off your diet there is a good chance those viruses in your system will leap into action, and that is what has happened here.

P.S. This morning I did not feel I had the flu after all, but read on this organic soy milk not to use after five days. I think it was the culprit as I kept tasting it for hours. Never had any food do me like this before. Didn't know soy milk could. My stomach is still sore, but I have no fever, or any more nausea. Just feels sore. Will figure it out eventually. But now is the time to be cautious since the flu season is coming up and swine flu is still around in Arizona anyway.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Steve Susoyev Review (People Farm) of Raymond's show in SF, "Bohemian Cowboy"

Bohemian Son

Gerry, Raymond has created a masterpiece. Of course it all felt very personal for me--remembering the way in which you and your sisters took turns filling the role of "salvationist" in my own life--but beyond that, I was hit very hard by the importance of telling our stories, and telling the truth.

Raymond's respect for his family, his reliance on the support he has received -- including the acknowledgment that the ornery old cuss Clyde, his dad's "tormentor," never criticized his dad to him -- was very moving.

So much "stage memoir" is full of rage, and though we often understand that it is important for the writer-performer to get this vitriol out of his or her system, an audience can expire from the tedium if not from the toxic fumes. Very rarely does such work actually inspire an audience with its sincerity. Here, we have a performer who has much to be angry about, and we see, in raw, painful detail, how he has often turned his anger upon himself. But he has worked with it, and worked with himself, so we are able to enjoy and revel in the result, even as our eyes fill with tears.

Tonight I took my friend George Birimisa with me, a tough audience if there ever was one -- at 85, he often leaves plays during intermission and finds his way home because I always want to stay and get my money's worth. George is a playwright and director, and what sends him out the door (other than a play that is badly acted and badly directed) is work that pretends to be "emotional" but doesn't ring true. He went on and on while I drove him home about the emotional truth of this play, and Raymond's skill as a writer and actor.

I'm going again next week and bringing my boyfriend, Jim, plus several theater chums from my Corpus Christi troupe.

On Sunday I will hear Linda read at a bookstore near my house. How great to have the Kings and Shurtzes in town!


Steve Susoyev

Friday, September 11, 2009

Raymond, Scott, and Kurt work on show in SF, sister Linda reports she fed them spaghetti dinner

The header above kind of reflects how I feel at the moment. I think the horse represents Raymond getting ready to do still another show with more wear and tear on his system. He has not really had a steady job which must feel rather scarey. I am thinking that eventually he might want to return to Phoenix for the winter months, a city he knows well, as his health problems might worsen and he will need to find jobs he can do until he is to the age of retirement or is disabled, whichever comes first. These were my circumstances when I was in my late forties. I have been talking to some of these younger guys living here who had to seek disability. My neighbor is 49 and back problems plagued him until it was suggested he try for disability. He just moved in here a few months ago. Until then he drove a cab, did whatever jobs he could find between being down with his back.
There are hard times to be struggling with health problems, but life goes on, and things happen no matter whether the economy is good or bad. My neighbor lives in a one room apartment and is happy to have that. Some of these apartments are quite small, which male residents find quite adequate. I had so many books and manuscripts I requested a one bedroom.
I think everyone past fifty has to think about what they might have to do if their overall health does not last until retirement age. For many I know it is panic city. At first. But it is not an uncommon thing to have health problems before sixty. I would say the fifties can be quite precarious. Some workers might feel they are barely making it with what they are contending with. But once problems are faced and dealt with, there can be a measure of relief. The important thing is to recognize that this too will pass, as depression can be just as crippling as anything else.
I do think we have to deal with the cards that have been dealt us and take an optimistic attitude about what lies ahead. We will get through it!
I have told Raymond should he get to that point he can always come and live at the Westward Ho with me! This is where disabled guys his age and younger want to live. It is in the heart of the city, a place with ambience and a rich history.
I know he is still raring to go now, but I also know he cannot carry the heavy load that full time teachers get to shoulder regardless of age. That got to be too much, so he has to be careful now about staying within his limitations. Once you have had health problems, that becomes very important. You can go on quite a while, if you work using moderation!
So I am hoping that insomnia and panic attacks will not plague him during this two week run in San Francisco. I am sending up a prayer for him to prevail with a show that will touch people and help them to face the uncertainties of old age. Raymond's dad, the subject of this show, hit panic city I am sure when he disappeared into the desert nearly four years ago and has not been seen since. He had gotten his truck stuck, all four wheels, and having known him so well, I think he would have gone into a dreadful mental state over a relatively minor crisis. His reaction to crisis could become a bigger problem than what had originally gone wrong. Raymond cannot help but have inherited some of his characteristics as well as some of my own. If his dad got upset enough he would go into kind of a fugue state and just start walking. If he headed out into the desert, he could have walked miles before he came out of it.
Of course Raymond doesn't have fugue states! He stops short.
But anyway his show is very realistic about how a man can just disappear if he decides he can't solve his problems. We don't want that! There is a lesson to be learned here about keeping calm, talking, staying connected, and never ever thinking you have become too much of a burden and just as well end it all!
So I am offering up a prayer for calm here and moderation, and faith in the art of theater which Raymond has studied so many years. Experience will help him to find the excitement and the power once more in a play. He is good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kerynn Taylor Pierce is here!

I just got this card from my granddaughter, Laura Lynne, with these photos of her new baby girl, Kerynn, and her older brother Wyatt. Unusual name. My son Gary, the grandpa, spelled it for me over the phone. I thought you would like to see her.
I have picked out a darling little snuggle blanket knitted by a woman at the Farmer's Market to buy for her. She wasn't there this last Saturday because of rain. It is one of those blankets that's made from very warm yarn. The woman said mothers use them to put over the baby in a stroller and such. The family lives in Flagstaff where it gets cold early at about 7,000 feet. After she outgrows the blanket maybe she can use it for her dolls!
When I buy one I will try to show a photo of it. I just fell in love with it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My heart is in San Francisco

I was awake probably until 3am exchanging e-mails with the author of People Farm, Steve Susoyev, who wanted to get my sister Linda's number, so he could go to her poetry reading. I sent him the flyer about Raymond's show happening there, starting on the 11th, and running two nights each weekend. He e-mailed back a little later and said he bought four tickets for him and 3 friends to attend! Others in the Bay area reported to Raymond on Facebook they had bought tickets. I went on the family site at 3am, and this morning saw that Raymond had posted on Facebook he had arrived in San Francisco.
I just read his blog entry written in SF in Cowboys and Bohemians (see blog list) and he is beginning to feel the excitement of doing theater in a big city. I was so excited that I did not sleep until along toward morning, but I did not mind. Such an event does not come along very often so I am prepared to lose a little sleep over it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My beefy arms vs Doc's vodka soaked brain cells

Doc called me forth to report progress on fixing his muted computer (he accidentally pulled the wrong plug out and it has been mute ever since despite all his efforts to fix it). My son Dan says he will be working all week so can't come over and unmute it for a few days. Doc's highpowered computer is too complex for me to mess with either, I told my son Dan who I could just see shaking his head. But I was glad to hear he is working all this week in these hard Arizona times.
Doc was also determined to retire his TheMadDoc666 channel as he heard on the news this morning there were several gangs in Phoenix signing their graffiti 666. So we made the last video we will ever make for the nefarious sounding channel. It is uploading now. The header is a frame i just learned how to take from a video. So I can learn something!
In this frame note my beefy arms. You will never be misled on my channel about my not representing the obesity epidemic. You will be able to see the evidence for yourself. But I believe in giving fat people and alcoholics a voice, for how else will society be able to figure out how to help us.
I have been advised to quit helping Doc but I have cut down my association with him to just our business together. He is still paying on all this expensive equipment and has made no protest, so I go down and use it freely. In return I will go on his channel and insult him or whatever I feel like doing. Doc is very liberal and is for everyone expressing themselves.
Anyway, I will embed his video here after it is uploaded, and you will be able to see him explain why he had to retire his channel. Now he acts like why didn't you stop me? It was his channel so I just let hm go ahead and make his own mistakes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

In People Farm, Steve Susoyev writes the story of a charismatic but disturbing psychologist's wilderness therapy 'ranch' in the Canyonlands

I heard about Steve Suseyov's brilliance from my sister Ann, his English teacher, and when she heard he had sought refuge and therapy at an older age with Dr. Standhal who had set up his healing ranch in our hometown, she was alarmed. We had already decided that the psychologist, already established there, seemed brilliant but far too bold and sexual for our tastes. What would happen to Steve who had written a paper about his homosexuality for her class when he was 13, along with enough problems to alarm the school and cause her to get into trouble for accepting his far too honest papers.
Well, a lot happened in that 'healing place', but before Dr. Standhal suddenly moved them to Los Angeles, quite a number of us trekked down to the 'ranch' at their leader's invitation. I held out the longest with my profound distrust of psychiatrists and psychologists in general due to incarceration, but when I did go I was quite entranced with a Navaho style hogan they had built and decorated with shiny colored rocks in a striking design. Steve explains in his book that they had found the Indian style Tipis too hard to keep warm in the winter and were seeking more solid designs to fit the climate.
I can always be beguiled by people who rough it in that country. One of the most entrancing parts of Steve's book for me was when he was ordered to go on a ten day trek into the canyon country during which they had to rappel down over a cliff to a canyon floor. He got stung by a scorpion, and a flood hit. They were on higher ground but their guide tried to beat the flood down the canyon and to their horror his body came floating by. They leaped to the rescue and Steve and another hiker managed to bring him back to life with CPR.
Steve had hitchhiked to the ranch in lieu of committing suicide. He had met up with their leader in connection to his job in a psych ward called Los Perdidoes in Los Angeles. There he did such duties as help give electric shock. He had been extremely traumatized by a doctor who gave a favorite patient of his 15 times the normal dose of electric shock, tantamount to killing him! He had tried to get this patient transferred to the ranch in Utah figuring nothing could be as bad as the treatment he was receiving. The patient went awol before his grandmother could transfer him, so Steve decided to go instead of committing suicide.
Very soon his intelligence and writing skills caused him to become the doctor's right hand man, but that placed him in a position to see and experience every disturbing thing this man was capable of coming up with, which included sexual satisfaction from his assistants and patients. Dr. "Cy" explained quite casually that he had been sold to a wealthy man by his grandmother when he was five years old. His mother had been killed by a drunk driver and his father had disappeared. He protested that he was very happy to be sold as this man was very good to him, gave him many great books to read, educated him at the best of colleges and only required that he service him sexually every night before he went to sleep! Steve had to absorb such shocking information plus accept what it had done to the leader and helped cause him to do! He just had no sense of ordinary boundries, which was one reason he had set up his therapy ranch in such a remote place as our hometown.
The locals, however, with binoculars and such had already sighted naked revelers on the ranch and knew that a great deal was going on there that could not be accepted even by the most open minds. The Doctor just went too far for almost everybody.
We did not see, though, how he could ever be stopped. Anymore than Utah had been able to stop the polygamist communities from flourishing in southern Utah and such.
But it seems that an outraged mother who found out he had deflowered her 13 year old daughter had the power to send him and his new wife fleeing with a purse full of thousand dollar bills. Dr. Cy eventually served a prison term and never returned to his former glory as the darling of the therapists who he provided with sexual therapy in his remote canyonlands 'healing' center. In the book Steve says he greeted a Nobel prize winner to the ranch as the young assistant to the master.
The therapy ranch experiment came to a halt. Steve says that he spent 10 years trying to process and write about the experiences with Dr. Cy. "People Farm" is the result which can be obtained at peoplefarm.com or through Amazon.
I find Steve's knowledge of the language of the therapists compelling. Oh yes, the patient who had endured the high voltage electric shock treatment turned up to the ranch. He became violent over something after living there quite a while and was taken into custody where it was found he had gone awol from Los Perdidoes. So nothing but do, authorities said they must return him to what Steve regarded as a hell hole, and the patient with his electric shock scars still not healed, committed suicide!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Alcoholic says please dont help me

P.S. Notice AZ Central headlines about Pima drunk drivers on blog list. Well, some people think alcoholics who drive drunk should be helped right to jail, and what is more pay for their board and room in the slammer.

I meet up with the homeless one

who seems on an odyssey to find his soul. After leaving St. Lukes, Jack must have gotten downtown somehow and was walking in front of the Westward Ho where he would meet a lot of people he knows. He called to me. I saw that he seemed sober and was cleaned up and dressed in shorts and a T-shirt apparently provided by St. Lukes. A cut across one side of his nose had been stitched. He had the remnants of a black eye and bruises. He asked me for money. I said, 'how much?' He said $1, so I gave it to him knowing he couldnot buy any booze with that. It was very hot yesterday. I hoped he might buy a bottle of water. You can dehydrate so fast here in this searing heat.
Well, thank goodness, it is much cooler today. But anyway I saw Jack a few minutes later at the Circle K but did not see what he bought. I said, well, it is fight for survival now, isn't it? But I said you look better. I can see into your eyes. He said yes, that he had not had anything to drink for 4 days. The last thing he said was, 'It will be all right. I have been in worse spots than this!" ???!!!
He did not seem to want any more from me and so I left him and remained somewhat in shock the rest of the afternoon to think he had transformed into another person from only days before. From dapper Jack he was now a homeless one, a state brought about of his own choosing.
I have no doubt that he had accumulated enough grievances that he could no longer stay, but almost like a soldier in war he was not going to talk about it if he could help it.
I have kept a profile on Jack ever since I met him as I have accumulated on Doc. I think it is important to try to figure out why even our brightest and most well endowed succumb to the ravages of alcohol and cannot seem to loosen themselves from the grip of the monster.
Night before last I was picking up almost a state of euphoria from him in those flying dreams, but last night he was very quiet and I hoped that did not mean he was fading fast. He seemed quite weak like he had not eaten very much at all for days.
I went out this morning and looked, but of course he was not lingering around the Circle K. Where he went I hope somebody knows.

P.S. Sketch of a homeless one done by Doc (Rick) during his precarious days on the street. He has that look that only a homeless artist could catch. It is called "My cup runneth over".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Are government entitlements fair to all our populace?

I spent what seemed like hours flyng (badly) last night with a pilot as my guide

Since I inherited psychic abilities, I learned early on that if someone else had these abilities I could pick up what they were thinking and doing very easily. Jack, the guy who was evicted, had psychic ability. For example when I was talking to him almost daily before I met Doc he came saying he had a dream he wanted me to help interpret. He said that he dreamed a small plane crashed and was sort of hanging in the lobby and he was trying to rescue people. He said the dream was so vivid he thought it had significance. A day or so later, my sister Ann told me that around the time Jack dreamed this dream a small plane crashed where she lived and her son was out for hours in the night tramping around in the snow trying to find the plane so any survivers could be rescued. It was finally found and one survivor I believe was airlifted to Salt Lake. I concluded that since Jack was a pilot and I was not this information had come through my psychic perception where it was picked up by Jack resulting in a vivid dream, since I am very close to this sister.
Well, last night I had a vivid encounter with Jack who was flying. I used to have flying dreams all the time, so he said, come on, you can fly, come fly with me. And he started to zoom up and down the sky so fast that I could not keep up with him. I told him he was flying too fast and I only managed to get into the air and fly around, but I had never learned to do fancy didoes like that. He would say try this, try that. I would try it, but I could never get the hang of what he was doing. I said I am sorry but I have not flown for years in my dreams. I said I have never known you to fly like this in psychic pickups. He said I never could fly in the Westward Ho. He said now I am a free spirit, so I can fly!
Jack is very strong physically from building himself up all the time. He would regularly take five mile walks. I could only make it within a mile. Which was why he could recover so fast when he quit drinking. I said you must be in recovery to fly like this.
I said I am too disabled to leave the Westward Ho, but you apparently are not. Maybe you needed more of a challenge to survive than subsidized housing. Hardly anyone now days gets the break of only paying one fourth of their income on rent and utilities. I would say that the government has probably been more generous than they can afford, since now once someone gets in subsidized housing and recovers from a disability somewhat, they are not prone to leave their safety net. So what is to be done about this disparity?
I feel I have more to spend than many young families do! Of course you will hear many seniors complaining constantly as well as some disabled if any of their privileges are threatened. They tend not to look at the rest of the country to see what is going on. I think that seniors who go to these town meetings to complain about Obama wanting working families to have healthcare too are being a little selfish. Medicare is spending millions just because doctors can get government money for expensives tests and surgeries. Almost anyone can get an expensive scooter paid for by medicare. You will see it on TV.
A woman in here probably cost medicare close to one million dollars because a doctor convinced her to try stomach reduction surgery even though she had been disabled by two kinds of cancer. MRRSA got into the incision. After a year, most of it spent in the hospital, she finally died. Multiply the cost of her surgeries by all types of expensive procedures done on other disabled and elderly who have medicare, and you have got ballooning costs that will break the country alone.
If health care for all is attempted, there must be a great deal more curtailment of costs or it is simply unaffordable. I do not think it makes a whole lot of sense to spend so much on the most unproductive members of our society, and allow the workers to go uninsured and therefore unappreciated. This is how a country goes broke.
Had I not got into public housing I would probably be living with relatives and trying to pay my way with what I could do. When congress members decided families just weren't doing a good enough job of taking care of their aging and disabled they mandated the goverenment to take over, thus weakening the role family has always played in taking care of the elderly and disabled, for centuries!
We have found out that government just does not have a good head. It doesn't do a good job of taking the place of families and never should have thought it (congress) could do a better job. At terrible expense I might say, and we are rapidly becoming a poor country with so many entitlements.
I think Jack is better off out scrambling to survive. He complained constantly of being bored, a good indication he was not living up to his potential. He was being helped too much. He got away with drinking in a most frightful manner. Who can stop alcoholics from having such meltdowns in publicized housing? It happens all the time. These are places some people come to drink.
If Doc did not live in publicized housing he would not have near enough money to drink as he does. I say that public housing prmotes irresponsibility in almost every direction and I am in one! Families stop taking responsibility for the aging and disabled related to them. They stop caring. The government can't care enough. What good does that do?
I feel a lot less close to my family and I see people in here who gradually cease to interact with family at all. Government is one cold substitute for the caring of family. Opinions, anyone?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I got talented kids

The above photo is about the only one I have of them together. I went to Facebook to see that my son Raymond had posted a bunch of links, one to the Waifs he has been playing with in Salt Gulch. I will put one of their videos on the blog list. They are a band from Australia. He also posted news of a new entry on his blog called, "Lightning in my pocket, thunder in my soul" with the excitement building about his trip to SF to do his one man show.
My son Dan and my niece Cheryl are now showing a second website they worked on this summer for the Boulder, Utah heritage foundation. See link on my blog list Raymond just went to Salt Lake for a meeting in connection to bringing a demonstration of musical roots to the Festival, I believe. Details are pending. He also said he had to go to Richfield to appear in court today for hitting a deer! Which jumped out in front of his truck. Wonder how that is going to turn out.
Dan reports back to work on his job today. Since the hotel business is so slow he went to Utah for the summer with a leave of absence. He is lucky to have a job in hard Arizona times.

Son Gary called and said his daughter is worried about her new born who tested positive as a carrier for cystic fibrosis. They are bringing the baby down to be tested to see if she actually has it or is just a carrier. Always somepn' to worry about.
Well, Folks, I am on my way out the door to pay the rent and find something to eat!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Come git your drunk Daddy before we put him in jail

We uploaded this video which is short because the camera started rolling. I found out we had no audio. I finally called my son Dan and told him Doc pulled the wrong plug but he put it back in. Dan said if it was green it had to go in the green hole. We amateurs never thought of that. I have faith that after two or three hours Doc will get it fixed.
In the meantime, look at that look on Doc's face on this video.

Got lots to tell you!

Wearing the above outfit I went down to the patio about 6:30 to talk first to Too, my 9th floor Korean neighbor, Kevin from Utah soon appeared and then Scott, my neighbor, and then Imogene, plus another guy on my floor. I am about to talk myself to death. Imogene was in great form, and she is fun to talk to. We talked until 9;30. I decided to shut chatty Gerry up and go over to the Silvercrest to play pool. We played pool until 11:30 and then I had lunch. I was joined by Kevin who left the patio to go to the store to get two watermelons he said. Doc just called me to come and put another video on his channel.
But before I go here is the website my son Dan helped his cousin Cheryl create for the Boulder, Utah Heritage Foundation as listed on my blog list. I think they did a great job: www.boulderheritage.org He still has more work to do on it. Click on the categories on the left and also on the Workship activities and it will take you to more pages.
My sister Linda called last night and said she got an e-mail that a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle wants to come and interview her before her poetry reading to this bookstore. She says she will mention Raymond's show. She was nervous and was trying to get ready for him. She wanted to know how to get to her poetry reading we did on Youtube on my channel. (see blog list)
Raymond called from Salt Lake and will try to hook up with Scott, Linda's son, to go to San Francisco to do the tech on his show to open there on Sept. 11. Three one person shows are scheduled one after another to this theater. I think they all look good. So it is going to be an exciting September for these family members.
I am having fun on Facebook. I will tell you more about that next time. Tally ho!


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