Monday, August 30, 2010

The master LeRoy and John show us seniors how to play pool (1)


We pool playing seniors are lucky to have such veterans as LeRoy and John to inspire some hot games of pool every week day morning at the senior center down town on Fillmore Steet. You can tell from his moves, LeRoy is a hustler, a shark, just an all around great player, now waiting radium treatment . Heres to some great memories with one of the best pool players I ever had the privilege of playing. He was an Arizona nine-ball champion in 1960, and who knows how many people he has beat at 9 ball since.

LeRoy and John and Nate and Jimmy play pool at the senior center (2)

Going to capture the master pool player on film today if I can

I want to get over there and try to catch him before he has to start radium treatments. I decided to leave the tripod home so as not to call so much attention to what I am trying to do. The camcorder is small and unobtrusive. We are just going to experiment around and see what we can come up with.
I have been down to the patio already this morning talking to those at the 'round table.' We talked about other projects. My neighbor is planning his memoirs. He was telling me he has memories of before he was born. I have heard of that but never talked to anyone who has these memories before. He is such a hyper guy I think if anyone might have those memories he could. He says he was like my son Dan in the womb, who never stopped moving. He moved three times more than any other baby I recall having. I knew I was going to get a little hyper boy, and so he was.
News from Utah came that they had such hard winds my son Raymond had to cancel two shows on the top of the ledge. The wind is supposed to die down today, so he will try it again tonight and tomorrow night probably with a loss of audience, so he was upset, but the winds stop for no man, so he read Ulysses for comfort. (See his blog Cowboys and Bohemians on my blog list) My two sisters went over, had the dinner, but could not see the show.
My son Dan plans to come back with the Phoenix actress, Tracee, in the show, to Phoenix as soon as the play is definitelyi over. So my computer will not be touched for a few more days.
I spent a long time in the pool yesterday with my friend Linda. There is usually a different person or two every day to talk to. So the summer is passing in Phoenix with the best activity possible, exercising and playing in the pool. So much better than last year which was really dismal when the renovation of the pool was going on. More are taking advantage of the pool this year than ever before!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wearing my french silk hat in the swimming pool

Down in my temporary headquarters at the swimming pool I am unbelievably in the pool, running my video camera all by myself after Doc stalked off. I have to collect my equipment from his apartment which you will hear all about as we made dueling videos on the subject of our not well defined new relationship but it is getting there. Now I must post this one so I can go and upload his to his emdedoc channel and blog. You will see the indignity he foisted on me in the form of a duct tape across my mouth. I hope we successfully continue to share our equipment of which I own the smaller share which is why there is danger of him pushing me around!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Pollution" describes the state of my computer online

Since I can't access my photos at Doc's I had to borrow one of his drawings for my new header. I think my polluted online computer is partly my own fault due to my nervous habit of pushing buttons when something goes wrong instead of just stopping and backing away. I know my son Dan can get me out of this mess, and he will help me to decide the best thing to do with it. Waiting a few days for him to return to Phoenix would be better than letting some resident who says, "I might be able to fix it" even get near my computer.
I have been out under the trees this morning having coffee with disgruntled residents, but they were all sober! I have decided I even prefer them disgruntled and less intelligent to my erstwhile breakfast companion Doc who fixes him a drink on first arising. I got into a rather heated discussion with a new resident who said these people in here were so crazy, etc. etc. he was moving as soon as he could. I said well, how can your criticize them for what you are doing yourself? I think you have had an attitude ever since you moved in. You sounded like the original angry man. He admitted he had an attitude all right, but why is his attitude better than their attitudes? He started to get angry and I said, "if we are going to have a discussion, don't you want the truth from me?" He said that I could tell him the truth of what I thought, so I did get through to him, even though the conversation was partly unpleasant and took energy. Then the friends he has made came and he soon left, and so they discussed some trouble they had with him, even though they were the ones who finally got him to smile and show a little charm.
Now I am here at Doc's and resisting any effort he is making to 'make up.' He asked me to come and have lunch. I said no, no, no. I have had all the lunches and breakfasts I am going to have with this inebriated man. I am here strictly to do business. I am going to check his e-mail and facebook acct. as he asked as soon as I finish my blog entry.
He asked me if he could get me anything to the store, and I said no no no. I plan to go to the Silvercrest for lunch and start setting up a video I want to do of the master over there playing pool. I am trying to decide how to shoot it. I would like to hold the camera myself which means I won't be able to play, but later on I can do another one maybe with us playing a game, he and I. Then I want to do at least one more at the pool with Kevin and I in the water. He didn't swim this morning, so it is possible I might have to do that one by myself. I spent a couple of hours talking to an interesting guy in the pool named Victor. He was wearing what he calls 'life saver shoes.' He says you can't drown in them. I told him it bothered me for him to wear shoes into the pool. He said they were swimming shoes and he never wore them anywhere else, but I still think they got a little dirty on the way to the pool area and he should wear other shoes to that point. But he got so stimulated by my objection that he showed me his diabetic toes he was trying to cover up, and I could see why. He has lost 3 toes altogether and he is only 60. He also has an ulcer which he says if he opens that up someway and it gets infected, he will have to have his foot cut off above his ankle! I shuddered. He said when the skin looks 'pruney' it is time to get out. I was so nervous I told him he should get out when we forgot time. So we both got out and went on talking another hour on the bench by the swimming pool, and he described to me all the risks that go with advanced diabetes including loss of kidney function. He said his kidney function has been down to 35 percent for 4 years and if he is not very very careful he will go below and he will have to spend all those hours in dialysis. He said he does not want his foot cut off as that will mean another long hospital stay. He says diabetes is epidemic and there are a lot of people in his predicament and there will be a whole lot more with so many young people getting it earlier and earlier from obesity. He had me scared to death before he was through, but he did assure me I would not get diabetes at my age and should just go on being careful as I have been doing. As I do have high blood pressure and need to keep my weight down and exercise to help my kidney function among other things.
I am starting to look more toned from exercising in the pool and I will be able to walk in another month or so. We don't walk when it's around 110 in Phoenix! About all you can do is exercise indoors or swim. We are so fortunate to have this beautiful swimming pool.
I have seen Victor, the diabetic, in the pool before, and will again now we have talked. See I am getting around better. And connecting up to real live people more, which I think is so important, as I already feel energy flowing from them!
If you only stay inside and watch TV you don't get that energy flow from people. I am getting proved to me again how important interaction with people is in staying healthy. It is a challenge to talk to these people and get along with them, but the rewards start coming with persistence--renewed vigor.
I hope my videos will soon reflect this vigor from going to different locations and involving more people! Then you, too, will get the benefit of a change in my life style through my blog and videos.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Talking to Kevin at my new swimming pool headquarters

I went down early this morning and met Kevin at the swimming pool with my camera. He is from Salt Lake, so we have a shared history to talk about, and an artist. He and I are both certified, watch the video and you will find out how!
Doc asked me how old Kevin was and I said nearly sixty, but he looks like a boy. Doc says he does not get jealous so here will be a test. He may find a new female partner to share his videos once in a while, who knows? Kevin is young enough to be my son, so I do not expect a romance there! Just some fun talk.

P.S. Raymond left a note on the family site saying that the LA actor did not leave, and he will perform for the four days, so that will take some heat off the director. He and my son Dan plan to return around the first so that is when I expect to do something about my computer, online, and phone problems. In the meantime I must find other entertainment besides the Internet!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Raymond hits crisis: he may even have to do part himself opening Thursday!

Raymond is in a worse crisis than I am but everyone is helping him because he is not in an alcoholic meltdown himself. Instead it is the lead actor from LA who may have gone, but if he did Raymond must do the lead part himself in the play opening this weekend for a four day run on top of Thompson's ledge. He wrote the play but he will have to do some tall studying to learn the part by Thursday or Friday, although perhaps the actor has not gone for good. Maybe? The computers and phones are all out in Boulder, too, so Dan will not get my e-mail, but at any rate he would not be able to help much from there. He will probably have to take over the directing reins if Raymond acts. He even directed his and Scott's movie so it isn't as if he hasn't directed. Every one is trying to help Raymond with his theater crisis. Tracee is steady who Raymnd said was doing great work in the leading female role. The relatives are all rallying and coming from several towns to support the show as it sounds like the Heritage Foundation has taken the play under its wings.
I still have no phone and will not have one as long as I can't get my computer on line. Dan could e-mail me some basic things to try, once the service is restored to Boulder. Out in the hinterlands services aren't quite so reliable as they are in the city. I can't call on Doc's phone as I would not do that. He has no long distance service and would have a spell at such expense. My online phone is very inexpensive compared to most any other phone service. And this is the longest it has ever gone down from interrupted Internet service. So I will content myself with blogging and e-mail.
Doc insisted I listen to another video he made about our split that be blamed all on the jealousy of women, mine over the woman he lent money too. He was probably in a blackout that morning he made me so angry, saying so many negative things about our relationship while still very drunk from the night before when he had given her the money. I don't know how many hours that took. He didn't say. But if I hadn't left him already I would leave him over a video in which he took no blame, even though he was very drunk when he made it, obvious to somebody who knows him. A lot drunker than when he made the one he wanted uploaded. He didn't ask to upload this one, but he should not have insisted I watch it, as it only confirmed my suspicions his mind has deteriorated to the point he can't be reasoned with. Worse! I just said we do not look at things the same way. His alcoholic patterns are a very big part of this breakup. He will probably tell the woman it was just my jealousy. Makes him sound better, but hardly the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but he is not capable of being that hard on himself most of the time, that is why he is still drinking as he does! In my opinion.
Addicton abuse and serious artistry are not on the same page!
FLASH!! I see service has been restored and Raymond is writing about the crisis himself in his Cowboys and Bohemians blog. See my blog list!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am unable to get on line with my computer

I had to come down to Doc's to write this brief entry. My computer son Dan is still in Utah and won't be back until around the first. I sent him an e-mail asking for instructions but I may not be able to do what he can do so easily. Don't worry, I have a savings account so if I had to buy another hard drive it wouldn't be the worst tragedy in the world, but let us hope we can get more life out of this one. Dan will figure it out.
I had to come down to Doc's and use his computer but while I was using it we both agreed we should not eat together or do couple things, but just stick to computer and video and camera activities. I said I did not want to be his caretaker if he should have a catastrophic illness. He said what am I, the black hole. I said you could be! He on the other hand I am sure does not want to be my caretaker either. And I am 6 years older and too heavy, so it is probably going to be a race to see who leaves the earth first.
I found out Nikita's husband to be held a gun to her head. I told Doc I was grateful he did not hold a gun to mine. In fact, he claims he is happy with our new aggrangement as I was even leaving him all the dishes to wash so I could preserve precious energy for my writing. I was really getting to be about as bad a daily companion as you could find. He never knew whether I would show up for breakfast at 6 am or 9am. By 8:30 am he would be calling and I felt pressured. Then he would try to pin me down to the time I would return to lunch.
I feel I only have enough energy for me. I may be able to post another entry in a few days, and in the meantime I will look forward to computer man Dan's return!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New video--Out by the swimming pool reporting my break-up with Doc

My break-up with Doc continues to hold. He asked me to come down and upload a video he had made in response to mine. It is on my blog list on his channel called I got a Hitt in the heart, but I will not be embedding it in my blog. I will keep his channel and blog on my blog list so you can see his latest heart breaking additions. I think he sounds a little glib on this one, now he knows he is safe. I don't think his heart is quite as wounded as he pretends. Doc, I have learned, has a super salesman approach to life to get what he wants with the least amount of effort. Oh, that's enough, but Connie's cat cartoon says what I think very well!

I will continue to have my say in future videos and blogs, my way without so much aggravation. Already I feel less pressure. I am doing fine, and being very cautious not to let the silver tongued devil entice me back into spending time with him. We do share custody of the camera which means we have to see one another, but I hope we can handle this like adults and keep it on a business like plane.

Celebration of my grandson Jamal's birthday in photos and history



The above photos are about when I started to tend my grandson Jamal when my daughter Ronda returned to college when he was 17 months old and I started tending him. I continued to tend him until he was five years old through kindergarten when his mother moved in with Chad, her husband-to-be and went to live in his house, too far away for me to tend any more except on special occasions.
There we are asleep. I always tried to get them to sleep in but they rarely did, my kids or grand kids. I think we sort of bear a resemblance to one another in this sleeping photo proving the genes will out somewhere no matter how different we might look from one another. Jamal's father was a university student from Khartoum, Sudan. He had Arabic blood as well which shows I think in Jamal's face. He was fun to tend because nobody could figure out what he was, Greek, Mexican, Puerto-Rican (sp). Blacks always talked to me when I had him with me. People were fascinated with his hair. Even my other grandson Dante who came along some years after. He was just a toddler and at the time Jamal's hair had grown out until it was practically an Afro. His hair grew very fast and his mother would be too busy to give him a trim. Dante eyed Jamal's hair for a bit and then rushed over and grabbed his Afro and messed with it as fast as he could while Jamal yelled to shake him off. People sometimes had to be physically restrained from touching his hair.

Here the cousins are at an older age. Dante's hair was every bit as distinctive. We called it the little Mutt hair in this photo of the two of them.
Anyway for years Jamal was his mother's favorite camera subject as he was mine, when I could afford the expensive prints of those days. So we have got tons of wonderful photos of him. He could appear so different in each one, he was fascinating in photo. Still is.
And he was the quietest little child. He had almost unearthly quietness in his nature that was quite foreign to my noisy family, raised in the country and never having to subdue themselves. And he had a great attention span. I recall him watching TV programs like construction and house building with great concentration, to say nothing of all the movies he loved. He naturally became a great game player, and I was his favorite partner. We played games for hours. I taught him to play poker just to get away from games like monopoly I hate. Jamal was absolutely fascinated when he discovered poker video games. One time he bugged me unmercifully to ask the owners to fix a poker video game because it was broken. I am surprised he did not turn into a gambler he was so devoted to this game as a child. But lots of other video games came along to capture his attention. He still loves them and I am sure plays them very well.
But the most remarkable thing I saw him do was systematically teach himself to read by focusing on words displayed on signs wherever he went. He would point to a truck when he was around 4 and say, "Grandma, that says Frito Lay." TV taught him to tie the words to the product. I always took him to the public library with me where he always got his books, so I was reading to him, and eventually he was reading his books by himself, once he had learned enough words and could recognize them. He was the only one in the family I ever recall really learning to read before he went to school. I would take him to my coffee klatch at Fry's Supermarket and have him read one of his books to them, so they could give him the praise he needed to outdo himself. He had just shown a big interest in learning words and put it all together a little ahead of most people, including myself. Course I was always so stressed when I was his age I could not concentrate on teaching myself to read.
Jamal and I always went to the thrift store where we would buy a grab bag of toys to see all the surprises in them. Once we bought a crane that really worked, and the little kids in the neighborhoods all had to work the crane when they came over. Once his older friend from upstairs was down playing with him, and after he went home I saw that about 10 of my videos were missing. I looked everywhere and asked the kid's mother if he took them home. She stopped letting him come and play over the implication he took them. Months later I discovered them in a big pot down in the cupboard with the lid on it. About the only place I forgot to look! Remember that Jamal? I learned a lesson about suspecting anyone without proof. Look for some other explanation if the kid does not seem like a thief!
But I always felt safe walking with Jamal around the neighborhood. He was my connection. Everybody smiled when they saw him. He disarmed the neighborhood. And it was a tough one, too.
Ronda and I tried to raise Jamal as stress free as possible, despite the gun violence that was always going on around that neighborhood. Jamal learned to run and crouch down in the hallway with me as I called 911 when the bullets went zinging around. The only time I saw him shaken was when a fight between 2 women next door broke out when we were watching Cops once during the day. We went outside to look and when we came back after the police arrived, he said, "Grandma, let's not ever watch Cops again!" I think he thought we somehow landed in a Cops show just by watching the darn thing on TV.
Everybody in the family loved him and made a big fuss over him. When Jamal left my care, I knew I was going to miss him a lot but I was satisfied his new step father-to-be was a kind man and he would continue to be raised with a lot of love and that is what happened. And best of all, he would be going to a much safer neighborhood. No gun fire! He was soon joined by little brother Ethan who looked very different from him, but with whom he shares many traits.

Jamal continued to do well in school in the gifted program. His goal was to earn a scholarship to college with his grades which he did. He distinguished himself by having a near perfect score in math on his SATs, so he proved to have an aptitude for math. In fact he is in his second year of the business college at ASU and has continued to maintain his scholarship with his grade.




Another recent photo of Jamal and his brother Ethan now ten years old with me on Mother's Day.




The last photo is one of my favorite photos I took of him after he graduated from high school. I will continue to take a big interest in his life as I do in all my grand kids if I can as long as I live. And I am hoping he has a very Happy Birthday today!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hanging out in the patio before going in the pool


I went down to the patio around one o'clock dressed in my pink bathing suit with my black mumu over it to see if I could not visit with some people while waiting for a little shade over the swimming pool so I would not burn. The sun does weird things to my skin now in just a few minutes, I supposed from too many years exposed to this intense Arizona sun. I spotted Trudy, my 83 year old friend, who wheels herself out for some company, braving the sun which affects her, too, but Trudy and I had a hard time getting a word in edgewise with so many people coming and going and dogs and fights. A man was going crazy for a cigarette, I mean literally crazy, begging to the point he annoyed another resident who took him to task, which caused another man to take offense to his hard line and they shouted for a bit. Trudy gave him a cigarette and told him he did not have to pay for it. When these fights erupt you are forced to realize that this is kind of a high class nut house in a way, as some of the residents have to be sent to a psych center to cool off their behavior if possible. This resident was just taken away and returned to us supposedly with his meds adjusted, but today he seemed to be going off again, pacing and pacing and borrowing cigarettes. So we played psychologist and tried to figure out what was going on with him. But I am not sure we figured it out. This poor guy has got kind of a sweet nature so I hope he can calm down. Nobody wants to see him homeless. I guess he can't handle his money so has a relative caregiver who takes care of his money and supposedly doles out the money for his needs. But guess his need for cigarettes exceeds his disability benefits.
Still, the government pays a good deal of money for each one of us to live here, since these apartments are subsidized and the resident is only charged a fourth of their income for rent and utilities combined. The complex management signed a 30 year contract with HUD, so this old hotel will remain HUD housing until then at least. If outsiders looked at this beautiful luxurious pool they would think we were way over indulged, but the pool would have been taken out long ago except this is a historical site, so nobody is allowed to touch it. Since it was renovated last year the pool could not be better. It is certainly the bright spot of my summer days.
Two residents, a man and a woman got into a heated argument over whether his dog would bite her dog if given a chance. She said he had already gone for it elsewhere twice! Which is why she yelled at him not to get near her and her dog. Daisy is a very mild mannered dog but every dog might have their breaking point. So after that tiff subsided, I decided to go into the pool and Trudy decided she was getting too warm and went inside.

I went and got in the pool and was soon joined by the son of a Navaho Indian friend of Doc's. Tony is part Hopi on his mother's side, and he always makes me laugh with his amusing remarks about Indians vs. whites, although he can get savage, too, if he has drunk enough and someone riles him. Then as he says he is capable of going on the war path.
He knows Doc so we discussed the ways of drinking men, and he made me feel better by describing the drinking habits of the tribe upon the 'Rez'. I mean I was comforted by hearing about worse drinking men than Doc. Tony claims the Indians will drink anything if they see it contains alcohol. And when you go into an Indian's house they do not want you to go to their bathroom for fear you will drink their Nyquil or whatever else is in their cabinets. The vanilla is always hidden, too. I remember my Grandma used to hide her good vanilla with alcohol in it. Mother just took to buying the vanilla without as my dad would be sure to drink the one with alcohol in it. The liquor store was 30 miles away from our place and Tony said the liquor store was 150 miles away on the Rez.
He said that he and his dad were both in the same fix. I said, both alcoholics? He said yes. I said, well, Tony, I think you are a very bright guy, I hope you don't feel called upon to commit suicide. He said that he was disappointed when he woke up from a binge he thought would surely put him away. His alcohol blood level measured 4. something. I said well, I think a guy as articulate and witty as you are should surely be able to find some reason for living. He said it is too late for me, but he didn't sound nearly as alarming as he did a month or so ago, so I still retain hope Tony will not kill himself.
He has a bike now so he has wheels. He said his dad is very depressed now over his younger brother's death. I would say he is much more danger of dying than the gregarious Tony. Tony comes and goes and most everybody likes him as he makes us laugh.
While we were talking a male resident and a female one got into a loud argument. They are not supposed to go to the patio at the same time, but the woman says that he comes out there early so how can she stay away all day? Tony said he was going to go over there and tease them, saying, are you guys courting or what? You can't stay away from each other. M, the guy, tried to talk to me about B, the woman, but I said, M, you can get along with her. She has been out here with us and you got along okay. But he is a cantankerous cuss. However I am not as alarmed over their fights either as I was a few weeks ago. They have lost a little heat. Maybe they will manage not to get one of them evicted. Probably him if anybody goes. He can't bully her, but she might like to fight a little too well.
Tony got out and went over there. I would like to have heard what he said to them. I will bet it was funny.
I found out I had swum about an hour, so decided to call it a day. I felt very good after exercising my stiff knees that long, and they were definitely loosened up. My touchy feelings were even healing. That Tony is a good therapist. He's a high class wit, with a sense of irony you don't run into very often. He can get away with saying more stuff because he is funny. He can do good in the world if he can just keep from killing himself.

P.S. I got the cartoon and the cat from Connie. She is also funny and good for my health.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I would not have believed the energy it takes to break up with someone

But energy is not anything I have to spare. I have long had a chronic fatigue problem and don't believe I will get back to feeling the best I can at this age until I do this tough thing. It is an awful wrench but have been feeling this coming on. I must use what energy I have left for my kids and grand kids and my writing. At my age, most are addicted to something and that is when energy is consumed just dealing with addiction, so if you are too close to a highly addicted person you are going to suffer a constant drain in energy because he is not going to be able to supply his share. I am addicted, too, and need to tend to my own needs.
Went swimming again today. This is so good for me. But a lot of people in here cannot work up the energy even to swim. It takes effort to get down there, but you know if you don't take advantage of opportunities to exercise especially in this heat you are just going to go down hill. I hate to see any person go into a scooter because I know they are very likely to get less exercise and probably weren't getting enough anyway. The pool is so wonderfully refreshing. A few more are going in since it was renovated, I hope enough to justify that expense.
My sister Ann is feeling bad because they had to close the school's big Olympic size pool probably not to open again. She says she already feels logy from not swimming. She has been a swimming teacher many years and taught lots of tots to bubble and breath. She will be able to walk in her town, but not in the winter. She says if anything causes her to move it will be that, looking for a swimming pool. She has lost her grand kids to a move, so she is without her little playmates and misses them like crazy, too.
I felt sad today. I met a woman on the elevator who seemed to be trembling with hunger. She had gone down to secure some food from the HUD coordinator. So I hoped that she could stop being upset over it. Fran keeps a good supply on hand for people who for whatever reason have run out of food and money. We have still got about 12 days to go until the end of the month. I was alarmed for this woman, but I think she is strapped by bills for a big TV. That is all the rage, a big screen TV and people are getting them and then not managing their money so they can still eat! I saw a woman in here who went to beg for food every month because she bought a scooter without going through medicare even though she qualified for one. But she had broken her hip and was too impatient to wait. I have heard quite a few sad tales from other disabled who mostly through mismanaging their money ran out of food. I always donate my poor people's food that I don't eat to the larder. Somebody can always use it.
I talked to people in the patio for a while this morning. That takes energy, too, as you are apt to hear about some disturbing stuff, like a grease fire in one of the apartments. Break-ups. Fights. A gal who moved back to Minnesota or Michigan forever is already coming back hoping to rent an apartment here. I wondered about her moving back there with winter coming on. This is the place to winter, not those two states!
I moved away from one tenant who was talking gloom and doom in a very loud voice. He thinks hundreds will be going to the streets! I hope not. Unemployment is up, he says, which I think it is. But we will probably be good for a while in here, which is something to feel thankful for. Lots of people feel a little poorer than they used to. I feel bad for them. All I can do is try to keep up with what is happening with the times, and hope that we will be able to work our way out of the lows.
I know all the illegals are nervous, not feeling so secure as they used to. But the good times for the illegals were bound to end with hard times here in the states, and the states feeling such budget shortfalls.
Man seems like a great experiment gone wrong sometimes, but somehow or another I have faith we will see what has to be done and will do it to get ourselves out of the hole. Even in the best of times some aren't able to keep from crisis, but in the worst of times, more feel the pinch.
Now I think I will read a little bit on my book, The Talented Miss Highsmith. This woman is a fright to drink. Nobody can put up with her very long. So she is always breaking up with her loves. Sounds like she got addicted in high school. I am so glad that I didn't decide to rebel by drinking and smoking. So many guys do. And some women. Guess I can put up with the bigger and bigger mess she is making out of her life and her health until I finish this book.
Smoking which might have seemed so glamorous to start with just gets to be an awful nuisance. You know, cigarettes are so expensive, people in here can't afford to smoke the rolled ones any more. Almost everyone I know is rolling their own. It's cheaper. They have gone back to the days of Bull Durham. Nor can they smoke anywhere here but a ways out from the building. Arizona is really strict and has put a high tax on cigarettes. Think, if you pay $5 a pack that is $150 for cigarettes alone a month and some smoke more. That is why the woman was trying to borrow money from Doc for an emergency bill she owed. She can't bring herself to roll her own and she is addicted.
I remember when Dante was begging his mother every day to quit smoking so she would not die. She finally did. I am sure she is thankful now. Three of my 4 kids don't smoke. Raymond had to quit a lot of times before he could finally stop. Gary had a heart attack and stopped smoking at his doctor's insistence but chews instead. He said it is too dirty a habit even for him, but he is addicted.
Green tea is tasting very good. I like it better than coffee. I bought a good supply. I don't put any sweetener in it and just savor the taste of tea.
I think Dante has started school in California. Jamal is back in college. Ethan is worried about what he's going to do when his mom starts her new job. Maybe he will be back in school, too. That's what's on my mind tonight. I need this blog to give me something to do as I am not yet recovered enough to write on my memoirs. It takes even more energy to do a writing project without getting reactions until you are done. You have to be able to motivate yourself.

Raymond calls and brings excitement back into my life


I think that is how my future excitement will come from what my creative kids decide to do and share with me as well as what my own efforts, writing my memoirs, will bring. Raymond said the last show he did of Bohemian Cowboy about his dad's disappearance out to a town called Torrey, over the mountain from Boulder, was a great show despite a small crowd. It just had not been advertised well enough I take it. A woman was putting up posters the day of the show! He said a French couple from Paris was there and they came up afterward with great enthusiasm saying they had been to theater all over the world and had seen no better show which was shocking to them out here in the wild west. They urged him to bring the show to Paris where they assured him it would be well received! He took down all the info.
Now he is doing his show, "Under the Desert" up on top of this ledge shown above. The road is rough and steep and you had better have 4-wheel drive but that is the point of making you work for your theater. Raymond is having a dinner catered up there which is part of the cost of the ticket. Anselm who owns the house he had built up on top of the ledge is giving him a great deal of support he said. He has been wonderful to work with and is providing canvas and tee pee poles he is using to make the set. Tracee, the actress he brought from Phoenix, he says has saved the show a time or two. She is a god send as well as a great actress. I have seen Tracee's work. She is a very hard worker and that is obviously what this role is going to need. She has worked with Raymond many times before so she is not surprised at anything he might throw at her so she might be his most enthusiastic supporter.
If any of you have seen Caffeine she figures in that quite a bit. In fact I do have a photo of them together. Raymond said he takes Baby every day, his dog, and she does her somersaults in the arc of the hose water all the time now. I think she knows that is her performance.
The actor from LA he said is unstable but brilliant. So this show should be something to see. I am sorry to miss it myself! However climbing around on top of Thompson's ledge with my knees might not be a good idea. And not the place for me to fall down and do damage to myself, so I will have to wait for the theater artist to get back to Phoenix to work his magic!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I made a trip to the grocery store and thrift store for supplies and a life alone


I went down to talk to Doc after he started calling this morning and told him I was fine, but I just had to withdraw from seeing him daily as the fear was starting to get to me over what is in store for him if he keeps this up. I have seen too many people who were close to me die of alcoholism. I have seen them have too many near death experiences. I am going to feel it even at more distance, but if I am too close I feel it could pull me into the deep hole, too, along with him. He did make a choice about his drinking years ago, and I chose never to get drunk. Two drinks was my limit as I feared alcoholism was in my genes and it would not take a lot for me to get addicted.
My mother was a foodaholic and our diet was atrocious when we were kids. We ate so much sugar in candy, desserts, jams, jellies, etc. I am surprised we all didn't get sugar diabetes. We were lucky. But three of us got too fat. My sister LaRae became bilimic to keep her weight off and it may have affected her health adversely as she died of cancer when she was 51. A lot of the men especially are overweight in my mother's family. She had a stroke when she was my age, but she was also experiencing stress and doing a lot at the same time for the man she was living with who was also overweight as well as somewhat of a criminal trying to divest her of as much of her money as he could. He was having her cook all kinds of fattening things for him, and she never walked, got enough exercise that way, although she was a tireless housekeeper which is what enabled her to live to nearly 90 I am sure, albeit stroke damaged.
I just feel I have to protect myself now that I am starting to feel my age. I can't be nursing a stubborn drunk who is 6 years younger than I am. He can nurse himself. In fact I have fallen behind in cleaning his bathroom and even washing the dishes which I used to do all the time because I could not stand his slovenly housekeeping. Now I need to use all the energy I have to keep up my own house. He probably got resenting he had to wash my dishes I dirtied, too, but I just could not do that stuff anymore. I did finally get his laundry done. He was waiting patiently for me to do that. So I am leaving at a good time!
I told him that seeing him to get the video camera and using his computer to upload it on would be quite enough. So it isn't as if I will never see him since we own that camera together, and I am more interested in making videos than he is. However, I have not felt like making any lately.
I hardly said anything to him other than state my reasons briefly for using this incident with the loan to break up with him. It wasn't the loan, it was all the insulting things he must have had on his mind and said when I went down there to breakfast and he was drunker than usual, even mentioning something about how I ragged him about his drinking. Well, about the only way I can quit ragging him is stay away. If he gets a little too drunk he can get very insulting. He can't maintain his civility and joking manner which he is known for if he is close to sober. Well, you have seen him on the videos. If he is critical he can do it with wit so it does not sting so badly. If he is drunk, his finesse is gone, and he's the same as any other bad drunk, insufferable.
I am sure my kids will applaud my not throwing more energy his way in my old age. I feel I have aged enough this past year I can't afford the guy any more. And I am going to be mighty cautious from now on about connecting to anyone with an addiction problem, which is just about anybody. I better go it alone from now to the end and concentrate on finishing my memoirs.
I have always helped drunks. Believe me, if I had not helped my dad as I did he would never have lived. I remember telling his older sister that some young woman with kids had nearly died of an overdose. My Aunt said, "Oh, too bad she didn't die. Her kids would be better off!"
I was absolutely shocked. I thought so that is why you never help my dad, you probably think we would be better off if he died! She was so wrong. My dad, like Doc, was a very smart guy. I have been told one teacher said he was the smartest student he ever taught, and I don't doubt it. When he was a kid he must have been a wonder, but he got addicted to alcohol very young. Actually I think it was my reaction to one of his worst near death experiences right at home, drinking a bottle of rub alcohol that got him started on his upward path. After it was all over, I nearly cracked up. I was twelve. That was one reason I quit posting my memoirs. I just did not want to put such a horrible experience with my drunken dad out there for everyone to read.
I felt my dad could finally see what he was doing to his kids, and little by little, he made moves, bought more land and cattle so he'd have more to do, and he shut his drinking down to maybe a bender or so a year which was a far cry from what he had been doing. It was a like a miracle to me. If he had died then, my mother would probably have had to borrow money to bury him. He would have left us in terrible shape.
I did not think my aunt had true religion to say such a thing. Not long after the brother just younger than she was, who had disgraced the family while drunk, was found dead under suspicion of suicide. Was his family of six kids better off? I don't think so. He was not able to provide for them ever again as my dad did for us for 25 more years and left each daughter close to $100,000. I know that trying to help the alcoholic quit drinking is not a bad thing to do. A lot of people have quit drinking because they did get help and support one way or another. I am just saying that 5 years is enough. I can't do it any longer for Doc. This will have to do. So many times, a woman must leave an alcoholic, pass him along to the next woman who will try to help him.
I knew my first husband was not going to quit while married to me, which he badly needed to do, but his second wife got him to quit, go to church, and stay sober for close to 20 years. So I would say she did a good thing. But I do not believe she could have handled his violent drinking when he was young. Because I had experience with my dad, I could. And because I was worn out, I sent him on his way after 10 years.
I do not think anything we do with good intent for others is in vain. It will have its effect, build strength. When a woman treats a man well he is going to remember it. I know that the affection and appreciation I was able to show my dad for the strength he showed helped save his life. He taught me to meet great challenges out on the range, too. He gave me courage on a horse, and I was able to use that courage other ways for years to come.

Sheriff Babeau's Challenge to Obama: Give me Half Hour, I'll Show You How to Secure Border

I thought this article was well worth your attention.


Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu
(CNSNews.com) - Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz., is issuing an invitation to President Barack Obama: If the president will come and spend a half hour with Babeu in Arizona, the sheriff says, he will convince the president he can succeed in securing the border and thus make himself a hero who transcends partisan politics.

Babeu’s southern Arizona county, while not contiguous with the border, has been designated by the Justice Department as part of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking region that is a major route for drug and alien smugglers bringing narcotics and illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Babeu has joined with Sheriff Larry Dever of neighboring Cochise County, Ariz.—which does sit on the border—as well as with Arizona’s two senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, in endorsing a ten-point plan for securing the border.

Noting that President Obama has visited Afghanistan to assess the security situation there, CNSNews.com asked Babeu in a videotaped interview whether he would like the president visit with him in Arizona so he can have the opportunity to persuade the president that his plan to secure the border will work.

“If the president gave me a half hour, I am confident that I could convince him and to show him the way that he can personally secure the border, and he would be the hero of everybody that truly transcends bipartisan politics and secures that border,” said Babeu. “I believe that if a leader truly wanted to do that we have the means and the resources necessary to secure our border and to protect America once and for all, and then we can get to the point in the future, only after the border is secure, that there is some type of discussion about what do we do with the approximate 13 million people who are here illegally.”

The ten-point border security plan backed by Sheriffs Babeu and Dever and Senators McCain and Kyl includes provisions to complete 700 miles of double- and triple-layered border fending, significantly increase the number of drone surveillance aircraft patrolling the border, and deploy 3,000 National Guardsmen to the Arizona section of the Mexico border alone until the governor of Arizona in consultation with local law enforcement officials certifies that the border is secure.

In addition to serving as sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., Babeu has served 18 years in the Army National Guard, where he is now a major. Babeu did a tour in Iraq and also commanded Task Force Yuma, a group of 700 Army and Air National Guard troops who worked with the Border Patrol on securing the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I will be drinking green tea instead of coffee


I am going to Fresh N' Easy tomorrow to get some green tea as when I am alone instead of brewing coffee, I just heat some water, pour into one of my big green cups, and slip in a green tea bag.
Yesterday separation reactions which consisted of not answering numerous phone calls from Doc. I just didn't feel like it as they would all be on the order of "Are you all right?" Sister Ann called from Utah which was nice but I did not even need much cheering up. I just knew I was doing what had to be done.
The 3 very attractive men I have liked since I moved in here 13 years ago have been alcoholics. One died, the other got evicted, and this one has been one of the hardest to leave, but I think I am done being fascinated with his mind despite his drinking. A very smart guy, couldn't understand why?
Spent some time reading a book called The Philosopher and the Wolf. This guy spent ten years with a great big wolf as his main companion. I loved that wolf, but guess what, he, too, was an unabashed alcoholic.(the guy not the wolf) Well, Irish. What do you expect? Brilliant but... So I didn't spent a lot of time reading this book except the parts about the wolf. They were fascinating.
Then I moved on to another book about a woman named Pat Highsmith, a writer. Pretty fascinating study although I have not read any of her books, but she too was an alcoholic. How I missed being one I will never know. Mormon background. Word of Wisdom you know, frowns on drinking especially for women. Even if we rebelled we were not as apt to drink as the young male rebels.
I did go down and spend about 45 minutes bouncing around in the pool with my noodles. A guy was swimming a few laps but at our age you are not going to swim many. I can stay in much longer if I use my noodles and exercise gently. Yesterday, it was so funny, a guy came and jumped into the pool, swam vigorously about a minute and got out! He rides his bicycle all the time for exercise so I guess he was just cooling off. He never stays longer than that.
Ran into the BF of our Westward Ho Tenants Org Chairman. They had moved in together and were planning a big wedding. Everyone advised them not to, move in together that is, but Nikita insisted. Now he was wheeling out all his belongings in a very large box. He had now lost his place in the Westward Ho along with his prospective bride, so I could see it must be a day of sadness and relief for Nikita, too. It is very tough to pull off marriage at our age, although she is 30 years younger than I am, but they were both in wheel chairs. Don't think the problem was alcohol. I think it was more tempers clashing. I didn't say anything to her about the move in or prospective plans. I thought let her have the fun of being in love.
So that was more or less the days events. As I said I did not answer the phone, but I am resolved that Doc must go the rest of the rocky way down the path he has chosen alone.
No more sharing of bus passes, morning coffee, watching the sunrise in different parts of the world, and chatting about current events and what is going on around us in the complex, what's up with my family, and all the rest of it. I think he will be able to handle his online bill pay after that terrible lesson he got on not closing the transaction while pie-eyed. I took over for a while, but he would ask me each time if I submitted the bill, so he had finally got it.
Now I will allow for healing before spirits can pick up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Split from Doc


I have a feeling about this split, that it might be more significant than the others. Doc has deteriorated so much even since this photo was taken a couple of years ago. He looks good here, now he is beginning to look very rough. Especially his teeth. He has a very virulent looking gum disease and will do absolutely nothing about it. He seems to be waiting now for some kind of alcoholic near death experience.
He got very drunk during this transaction he made to a person who asked to borrow money. (a woman) She figured in another split. It seems that neither one of them could handle this without dramatics. I did not mind the loan but I did mind all the insults he gave me after he got so drunk over it all he could not think straight. Especially when this happened in the morning when he is usually relatively sober. He apparently drank until very late while completing this transaction. He was apparently surprised when I did not object to him loaning the money, so he proceeded to insult me every way there was in his muddled state implying I could not be gotten rid of and was probably just hanging around to inherit his stuff when he died.
The truth of the matter he only has about a couple of hundred more dollars in cash available to him and a lot more debt. I have none. So this is somewhat of a delusion on his part, but I have been feeling like I was in prison lately in this relationship.
I am going to persevere this time in a break. We will make some arrangements about using the camera which is part mine, but I had lost my interest in making videos. I felt I had said everything there was to say about our relationship and until he quit drinking, it was not going to get any better.
Since I have given him plenty of opportunity to do something about his drinking and he hasn't done it, splitting now seems the only option. So I went and got my breakfast things and will not be going down there for coffee and breakfast and chat.
He usually apologizes and starts calling when he has done something to bring about a split, but when he involves someone else it is more serious, more of a violation of whatever we have got. His handling of this matter made me feel he has lost his ability even to respect what relationship we have, and that is due to hard drinking nothing else.
I hate having to react to bad behavior in a grown man who ought to know better, but it has happened, so I must deal with it.
The woman is beautiful and about twenty years younger than he is, so this factor may have turned his head a little. I doubt she will be content to be his companion, but he knows that, but as I say no good thinking here. He was making a video of her when we had trouble before. I thought she was a great natural for the camera, but he was unable to persuade her to do much with the video. She was not used to being photographed. He probably had in mind making another video of her, could not resist.
I told him I don't care what he does, and I don't. I think he had gotten very bored with being left to himself because of his drinking, so in a way that led us to this point. In the afternoon I would go down and chat with people in the patio or I would swim. He probably got to brooding about that, but knew he could not handle public exposure. He is reclusive because of his drinking. He fears making an ass out of himself in public which is exactly what he would do if he was very drunk. The woman came to his apartment and he was probably so glad to see somebody he could not resist turning this visit into an interesting event, but not at my expense! I go very slowly in involving other men. I don't see them in my apartment and I don't let anything get started while I am still seeing him. I know that would upset him so I don't do it. But he crossed the line into heavy flirting and dirty talk in his apartment. Joking about her having to give him a blow job for this favor he was doing. But when you are drunk, you are not apt to see anything wrong with such vulgarity. He said it was just a joke. It did not strike me as funny. Doc thinks he can get away with just about anything. But I don't do this to him and I am not going to put up with him doing it to me.
I see this kind of excessive drinking every day. Alcoholics going after their beer or whatever they drink. Same story. Over the years I have seen an amazingly large number of men die in here of alcoholism. I have seen obesity kill quite a few, too, and cigarettes. There are also serious druggies in here, too, on methadone or ending up in comas. I think the women die of overweight more than they do anything else, which is a high risk for me, so I need to do everything possible to keep a good outlook so I can control my eating. We all have a precarious hold on our control at times.
I have been doing better the last while, cutting back on sugar, losing very slowly, and now able to exercise in the pool. If I can swim through the middle part of September at least, then it will start cooling off making walking possible again.
You have to hope when you split with someone this will bring about a good result eventually. So saying I am going to try to sleep now.

How I determined to change my life at the age of 19


The above photo was taken of me in my junior year at the University when I was putting into action the plan I had for taking control of my own life. As I saw it most people did not take control of their lives when they were tied to a church like the LDS was at that time. It took too much effort just to follow along and be a good church member. I thought that our own minds were more reliable in telling us what was logical and what was not. It was an archaic idea to let a prophet determine the direction of your life who was long since dead and who had done some pretty bizarre things like introduce polygamy into the church he founded, which ultimately cost him and his brother and 2 others their lives. A mob broke them out of jail back east and killed them because they were incensed with what Joseph Smith was teaching, the principle of polygamy among others.
All the head of the theater department had to do was say that he was Mormon and he was left alone to do whatever he wanted to do. If he lied and cheated on his wife with other men which I suspected him of doing, who was to stop him? Nobody stopped him as long as he professed to be a Mormon. When you have questionable doctrine to wrap your mind around lying and cheating tends to drop to the bottom of the list of transgressions. It is a lot harder to get people to believe that such a bizarre prophet as Joseph Smith really was restoring the only true church back on earth. Joseph Smith believed that all men could become the sons of God. A famous quote from him was, "As God once was, man is, and as God is man can become." I was surprised to learn that this philosophy is touted as being that of the Gnostics who did not believe there was only one son of God as the Christian church later claimed, but that all men were capable of becoming as powerful as Jesus. In other words, he was a standard to measure themselves by and to aspire to emulate. Joseph Smith obviously thought he had risen to a state of progress that was getting close to that of Christ. In fact, in the old days I have heard some Mormons say that they valued the teachings of the prophet in his books above those of Jesus!
This belief circumvents the difficulty of trying to come up with an explanation of how Mary conceived the Son of God. I also have heard the Luke was a Greek who wrote the gospel that refers the most to Jesus being the only true son of God. The Greeks believed their gods could visit mortals and impregnate women a good deal more easily than others believed their gods could, so it was suggested that he was perhaps influenced by Greek beliefs about their Gods in his interpretation of Jesus.
But the fact remains that down through the ages a great many Christians have accepted the beliefs that Jesus is God incarnate and think they are right.
Anyway I am sure that Joseph Smith's revelations resembling the Gnostics philosophy was not lost on some Christians and so the Mormon church came in for a lot of criticism. When they accepted the outlawing of polygamy because the Federal government told them they had to, this criticism died down some. I would say for the most part present day Mormons do not pay that much attention to troubling or illogical aspects of their doctrine, but they are still unable to change it much, since the doctrine sets the Mormon church apart as the only true church, and this is generally speaking what Mormon missionaries are sent to teach.
So I say it is unfortunate when a church so defines a state as Mormonism defines Utah. At one point the church had to close all the seminaries they had built next to public high schools so Mormon students could attend and receive religious instruction for three years before graduating. This was to separate church from state. If you wanted religion in high school you attended a church high school. In Phoenix for example we have St. Marys High School and Brophys, both Catholic high schools. Doc went to a Lutheran High School back in St. Louis.
But whatever thinking I came up with at the university I did not think that I should have been punished by a Mormon psychiatrist to the point of being put under guard and taken off to be locked up! That was way overkill. He should have urged me to seek treatment, but to grab me and incarcerate me when he knew very well that I would be lucky if I escaped electric shock therapy was something like what might have happened in the dark ages. I am sure this is somewhat how the Inquisition did work.
Once I was locked up, the University psychiatrist no longer had jurisdiction over me. I think I saw him once after he had me locked up, and that was not until just a few days before I was released. So the psychiatrists who did see me had to assume that he had good reason for locking me up. I was soon telling them what happened and I was even showing them. If they got very rude I gave them the same treatment, I looked them right in the eye and refused to answer. I figured if I did not treat them the same way I treated him when they said something I did not like, they would never understand what caused him to lock me up. I told them he locked me up for not answering three of his questions! Hey, I did not attack him. I did nothing else to him whatsoever.
And so then their policies regarding incarceration of a person suspected of being mentally ill came into play, especially of a girl only 20 years old. My right to refuse treatment was immediately taken away from me. My parents could sign for it. This could happen all over the country. Mental patients had no rights to refuse treatment. I found that out later in Phoenix. My sister was hospitalized on a volunteer basis in a psych ward. She refused treatment for electric shock therapy. Her husband signed for it and she was given 6 treatments anyway, and from her description they were rough. These were what I feared I was not robust enough to take without severe damage. I had chronic fatigue syndrome of some sort. I told everyone of those doctors this was the main reason they should not give it to me.
Aside from the fact that this was not the right treatment for me. In fact, what in the hell was I doing in there in the first place after a one minute interview?
I was forced to sign a paper saying I volunteered to come into the hospital in order to get out of there after I had almost died.
I regarded what happened to me at the U of U as a far worse violation of my rights than anything that had ever happened to me. This was beyond molesting. This turned out to be life threatening. Those psychiatrists in Utah were just passing out electric shock therapy like crazy.
My theory is that electric shock therapy in all too many cases is just like being locked up as in the days of the Inquisition and being tortured until you come around and are willing to behave better, stop rebelling, and so on. It is tantamount to getting a very bad and scary beating.
I told my dad later in a big argument we got into why don't you get some if you think shock treatments are such good therapy? I was furious at everybody who was responsible for signing for my sister to have electric shock therapy also, as it did not help her an iota. It just made her distrust all psychiatrists exactly as it made me distrust them.
You give psychiatrists or anybody else the power to do things to people against their will on the grounds they are supposed to be mentally ill and what you can get is abuse pure and simple that can be compared to the tactics used in the Inquisition. The more helpless are the ones who get violated. Women. Girls.
I never even went back to see the head of my department. What was the point after so much damage to my health had been done by my incarceration and what I had to do to escape electric shock therapy? I did run into the gay acting student who had become a star and he sneered at me and said, "I have no sympathy for people who imagine their ills (his interpretation of mental illness)" I was still very affected by the whole experience, very fragile, when I went to the University after I came back to my appointment with the Intern at the hospital. This gratuitous cruel remark from him was hard to take, but I figured the way I had left the University had caused enough of a stir he was jealous. I had taken over the limelight for a few days and he did not like it. To be fair, he had a serious illness and died a few years later. If I had not known that I would have had a very tough time forgiving him. He probably told L, the head of my department, he saw me and there wasn't a thing wrong with me, it was so disgusting.
I still was extremely fragile and if I had to undergo too much stress I would begin the dying process all over again. A year and a half later my first husband was drunk and torturing me and after about five hours I started to die. I saw a light come down. Incidentally I thought it might be Jesus in the light. It was somebody pretty powerful who was looking in on this horrific scene. His presence caused me to feel the ecstasy I am sure many have felt who were tortured to death for some reason or another. I was so relieved to see an angel and know they were real and there really was heaven I was going to after death. My husband saw the ecstasy in my eyes and it brought him back to sanity enough for him to stop torturing me. I lay on the bed and went into spasms for two hours. I had very bad nerves, let me tell you. I did not think my body would ever stop jerking.
He sobered up enough to realize that I was going to be easier to kill than most people so if he did not want to be a murderer he better think twice.
I already knew what torture from an alcoholic was. I had seen my dad hold a butcher knife to my mother's throat when he was drunk, asking us girls who were present if we wanted him to kill her. If you are the daughter of an alcoholic as bad as he was, you are going to end up with bad nerves. For this I should be incarcerated and electric shocked? The extreme unfairness of such treatment should be apparent to anybody who isn't power mad or something else seriously wrong with their thinking processes. What makes psychiatrists go bad? Too much power. Some can't handle it. Electric shock therapy passed out to anybody does not require thinking. It is a quick fix. It is like abortion, violent but effective. It gets rid of the problem in a hurry. You don't have to talk to a patient who is getting electric shock therapy. Talk therapy was far too expensive for the poor. If the law allows doctors to violate people's rights some will do it.
That's why the Inquisition killed so many people just for disagreeing with religious doctrine, refusing to be converted, killed for the crime of heresy. At the time it was the easy way to get rid of aggravating heretics around making trouble. Christianity has a very dark history, but many do not want those crimes called to their attention. Believing in the divinity of Jesus did not stop men from torturing and killing those who disagreed, so if all you have to do is say you believe, well this is not a very strong system to keep people from violating other people's rights.
I do not believe that anyone should be severely punished for not believing in certain aspects of religion. But if you believe in the religion too strong, you are going to be convinced that everyone else does not have the right belief system, and this is what can lead to abuse of those who cannot be brought around. At the very least there is rejection and persecution of non believers and critics of the religion.
In Utah, people were very touchy about being criticized for their beliefs outside of Utah, so they were less apt to put up with critics in Utah. Early Mormons were known for sending those who criticized the religion a message to leave, get out of town, etc. Brigham Young even had hopes of creating a Mormon Country, but eventually Mormons were told this was not going to be allowed either. But these policies tended to be carried out later even after Utah became a state. Mormons still aspired to keep Utah Mormon country.
I eventually left the state. It was too difficult to be happy there and not be a Mormon. I disturbed my Mormon relatives who did not rebel. I now live in Arizona which has a large Mormon population, but is contained in cities. There is a big separation between the church and state, but in Utah government officials are generally all going to be elected Mormons because the Mormon population is so large compared to non Mormons.
That is what Brigham Young set out to create after the mob killed Joseph Smith, the founder. He wanted this kind of power.
I should have been lauded for my ability to think for myself, but unfortunately this was not seen as a desirable trait in Utah. I did a great deal of thinking about alcoholism and other social ills, but this thinking was not properly appreciated either.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Thoughts on my mind as I cook chicken soup


I hate cutting up a whole chicken to make soup. The one I just cut up looks like it was butchered, but I am planning to throw the bones and skin away, so I don't care. Anything to get it done. It's 4 pm and I had such a strenuous morning I am unable even to think of getting into the pool, all due to bad planning. Let's see, I missed the bus to go pick up my meds at Walgreens, so I decided to drop my books off the library instead so I could take the Central bus north. After I had walked around the library a while and picked up 7 books I thought looked interesting, including two fat ones, I came out and started walking up the street to catch the bus to Walgreens. Oops, I ran completely out of energy as I only ate a banana and coffee for breakfast, so decided I could not go a step further without FOOD. It was now after 10AM and the temp was rising, rising. I only got as far as the Japanese teryaki (can't find that word in my spelling book) and I chose coconut shrimp for me and beef teriaki (we will try spelling it this way)(spell check still says no!) for Doc. Doc had given me $10 for our lunch. I didn't want to buy him the chicken because I intended to make this chicken rice soup. I didn't know if he would like the coconut shrimp which was divine. That sauce! (later he said he would have liked the coconut shrimp).
I trudged on up the street thinking heavy library books were a bad idea ( I always think that but make the same mistake over and over) so decided to just take the Central bus back home and go again tomorrow for meds. As I almost got to the corner to cross the street I saw my bus just leaving. I thought oh heck, I will take the McDowell bus to Walgreens after all, get my meds, so I won't have to make another trip tomorrow.
Oh no, two young women with little kids were sitting on the bus bench. No chance of them getting up and giving me a seat. Another girl was sitting there, too, but she was obese and chances were she needed the bus seat more than I did, so I stood until the bus showed up.
Naturally I had to get bargains at Walgreens, including two boxes of my favorite cereal at $2 a piece. I needed dish soap and toilet paper and a B card for my grandson Jamal. I staggered out the door now loaded down to the max and managed to make it across the street with the sweat pouring off my body. The bus bench was again full, but a man probably close to fifty got up and gave me a seat. Bless it, there are still gentlemen left in the world.
While I was waiting for my bus I contemplated my life and problems. Doc had called me at at 12 pm last night. I was asleep and never made it to the phone in time to pick up but noted it was him. I thought I will call him back but he did not respond. I thought he could be having a hemorrhage and is not able to dial again, calling at this hour. I pictured him sliding to the floor dead. I thought if he does not call again I will have to find that extra key he gave me to his apartment and go down and check. Just then he called back. He owned up to calling me. It seems he was agitated over a friend coming to borrow money. He said it was a case of emergency and he was going to be generous. He wanted to get my approval. I said, sure, go ahead. I thought of times when I give out money when someone is in dire need and don't tell him for fear he will object and say I can't afford it. Even though it was a fairly large sum of money, I thought the reason was adequate. So having settled that matter pressing on his mind, he hung up. He said he didn't want me to find out and be mad so that is why he was calling me at 12 at night to tell me. He claimed he thought I would be up writing my blog!
Not this time. I was unable to go back to sleep for a couple of hours having been wakened for what I thought might be an emergency. Just then the bus showed up, interrupting my thoughts. I jumped up slowly to be the first in line to get on so I could grab a front seat. Bus drivers usually stop in front of old ladies looking so loaded down they might drop.
But no, he did not open the door. It seems a wheel chair wanted to get off. So he let down the ramp while I hoped I would be able to stand that long. What was the hold up? It seemed that the old lady could not get her scooter going! Umph, looks like she finally got it going, oh, killed it, now slowly she is coming down the ramp at an excrutiatingly slow pace.
The bus driver finally goes back to the front and opens the door and I leap on! I am kidding, I lumbered on with all my sacks. When we got to my stop he said, "take it easy, take all the time you need." I thanked him profusely for being so thoughtful as I slowly and carefully got off and went inside. When I finally got to Doc's I pounded on the door. This caused him to leap from his bed where he was taking a nap and rush to the door naked. I said, "Oh, get back in there and get decent! I pounded because I was using my last bit of energy to make it to your door!"
First off, I gave Doc back his bus pass. He frets if I don't and I collapsed thankfully on his futon. I had to ask him to bring me a drink of water, as I said I was too bushed to wait on my self, and I needed to hydrate. Doc is a lovely man who will wait on you if he sees you really need it, and does not complain at all. He was hungry and asked for his lunch. (No longer naked, he did go get some clothes on)
He wanted me to watch some more documentaries he had recorded on the lost books of the bible.
Now I am home writing my daily blog as my chicken bubbles in the pot. I will soon grate some carrots, cut up some onion, and add rice and I will have a delicious soup that will last me at least 4 days!
Such is the life of the old alcoholic and the old fat lady paying the price with groaning joints. See the source of the problem in knees showing in library book photo.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Was the Inquisition still alive in some twisted way behind the locked doors of a psych ward?

Now I shall attempt to recall the experience in the psych ward in preparation for writing my memoirs. I will just use letters for the names of some of the people involved. That is one reason I stopped posting my memoirs in my blog. I decided such events tied to the University and the Salt Lake County psych ward needed to be carefully handled. This is not a Kafka like novel, it was real life, so I feel the need to be cautious even though many years have passed and I have waited until a lot of people died before I started my memoirs with any real intent to get them out to the public.
Why do I call up the Inquisition in reference to what torture I underwent in that psych ward? Because Utah was dominated by the Mormon Church, and I think when any church dominates in a state there is danger of all the citizens being affected, even those who are not Mormon, by the suppression of doubt and the pressure to accept doctrine that might have only elements of truth in it. That means many members may have experienced what might be called brain washing in a cult, a cult having questionable doctrine and beliefs that have caused tremendous reaction and been very difficult to stamp out, polygamy being that doctrine.
Polygamy had been outlawed but the mindset of the prophet who started it as a result of a revelation he had from God was still intact. All the rest of his doctrine had been retained with hardly any alteration.
A Mormon Psychiatrist put me under guard after approximately a minute or so interview at the University and I was remanded to the psych ward.
I did not sleep at all despite sleeping pills given me. My agitation blasted right through those. I was virtually wide awake for five days until the following happened.
But first let me describe how my parents acted when they finally arrived in Salt Lake on the third day. They blasted into my room of course demanding an explanation from me as to what had happened and what part I had played in this shockingly disturbing drama. I could see from their faces that explanations would be impossible, they were never going to understand this. I had to keep my energy for my encounters with the psychiatrists who were still apparently determined to keep me until the usual torture of electric shock therapy had been applied.
Only I was getting sicker by the moment. I had already told the new intern who was now in charge of my case that something was wrong with me and that I should not have electric shock therapy. I explained as well as I could that I had been nearly downed with a terrible case of fatigue. I could hardly drag myself out of bed in the morning. This was during the summer I turned 12. I said it was so bad I thought I must have something like leukemia or rheumatic fever. I thought it was connected to a virus I had, but I would never have gotten the virus I explained since I was the only kid in town who came down with it, if I had not been inordinately stressed for years. He said that he could not make that decision, that he would secure an appointment with the head psychiatrist in charge of my case, who was also head of psychiatry in the University Medical school. He said that most patients were given electric shock so I should probably prepare for some treatments before I was released.
I said I wouldn't sign for it. He said oh my signature was not required, my parents could sign for me. I had a sinking feeling. I knew my parents would sign that paper, no question about it, especially since I turned my face to the wall and would not say one word to them.
My mother made a move as though she would just come over there and slap the shit out of me to get me to talk. My dad stopped her. Neither one of them had ever seen me refuse to talk to them before so he had the good sense to realize that maybe it was because I could not. He ushered my mother out of the room.
The Intern secured an appointment for me with Dr. B the 4th day and he pointed to a clock on his desk and said I had 20 minutes. I told him about the virus and said that I did not think I should have electric shock. He asked me what I wanted then. I said I just wanted to be released. I privately thought that this was just a place where you got electric shock treatments, nothing else, so I wouldn't feel safe until I got out of there. One woman had already told me she had had 200 electric shock treatments! 200??? Well, she was back in there so they must not have done the job.
The doctor indicated to me that the 20 minutes were up. He did not give the Intern any word that day. By 11 AM the next day Dr. B. still had not gotten around to sentencing me. I decided I would try to get my glasses from the attendant since I could only see dimly without them, being very near sighted. The attendant said that Dr. B had not released my glasses. I sat back down in the day room and felt this sodden rage taking hold of me. I was just so outraged I decided that I would not be able to take a deeper breath until some good news broke. So far it had all been bad, except the Intern entering my life, but he was powerless to prescribe for me. Only Dr. B could do that.
I soon began to realize that I was freezing up. This was a result of not taking a deeper breath, but I could not take a deeper breath I was too angry. Soon the fact that I had frozen up caught the attention of the attendant. He called for assistance and two of them dragged me to my room and laid me down. In the meantime a kindly voice began a dialogue with me who seemed to be kind of an expert in the dying process. The voice said that I had better keep control of what happened to me rather than give the control back to them, as I might be able to come back from this with less damage.
I interpreted this to mean that I would just have to keep my resolve not to take a deeper breath until I was sure I would be released. This seemed to be the goal, only I was obviously dying, and this was going to take quite a long time.
I found out later the Intern was called and I guess took his orders from Dr. B who was called and I believe pronounced my behavior to be a catatonic seizure and I guess they were instructed just to leave me alone and I would eventually come out of it. It is my understanding that he never saw me. So I proceeded to die the rest of the afternoon.
That shows me, I think, to be a person of extremely strong will, but I was extremely mad is all I can say. Or angry if you prefer. After two hours of just sitting by my bedside, a nurse told me later, the Intern left. He seemed to be the only one who was very agitated about the situation. Nurses would come in from time to time and lift up my eyelids and say something to the effect that I had been like that all afternoon. None of them seemed alarmed. I gradually went blind I remember. After about 4 hours of this even I was surprised when involuntary spasms and loud sounds came out of my throat that brought a few nurses running. They said things like, "Are you having a nightmare?" Right while they were saying this, I stopped breathing altogether. They did not notice and left the room.
Obviously I knew I was just about a hairs breadth away from death. I could feel my heart straining, near to bursting and then suddenly it was all over. The strength of my rage just left me. And I also must have figured somewhere inside my fevered mind that now they would not dare shock me or they'd kill me for sure. Only you could never tell. I would not have been surprised if Dr. B still said that I would be getting a round just to make sure my sanity was cleared up.
Only the Intern was there, what was to be done with him? It seemed that he was an outsider, not Utah born, not Mormon, and he seemed to be cracking up, too, over all this, even though he was 30 years old and a veteran of World War II. He seemed overjoyed when he came into my room and saw me still alive. He said that he had reported to Dr. B about my condition and that he also told him that he had fallen in love with me and wondered if he should be taken off the case since he had become emotionally involved. Dr. B must have been startled and told him to just keep on talking to me, as I had refused to talk to everybody else, so he was still the best one for my case. Dr. B was still not sure what he was going to do with me. The Intern acted like he wondered, too, if he was still going to electric shock me.
As for me, after I talked to him I went back to my room and started thinking that I loved him, too, but remembered he was a married man so I promptly tried to drive those thoughts out of my head for fear I might commit a mortal sin.
Almost immediately, all feeling left my body right down to my bones and teeth. I knew I was as close to a corpse as I would ever be and still have some life left in me. I immediately reversed my negative thoughts about the Intern and welcomed back the love I had for him. Good Lord, if it wasn't for him, I would probably be deader than a doornail. I could not help but love him. And what is more I could see that I wasn't going to be able to live without the love we had for each other. It was far more healing to me than electric shock would have been I can tell you that.
I knew for sure he was my savior when he came walking very fast toward me later in the afternoon carrying a piece of paper. He said Dr. B will sign your release papers if you will sign this paper. It was a paper saying I had voluntarily committed myself to the mental hospital. I said, that's a big lie! The poor Intern looked at me like, if you don't sign this, you are done for. So I took the paper and signed it. He was so happy. He came back shortly and said that I would have to stay ten more days to make sure I was okay and then I would be released to go home.
I cheered up considerably once I knew I did not have shock treatment hanging over my head.
I talked to the Intern as often as he could get the time during the next ten days. When my mother and dad came to pick me up, he was there to release me to them. He asked me if I would please come back to Salt Lake in a couple of months before he left for his residency in California, so he could make sure I was all right.
When I came back two months later the Intern as soon as he got alone with me on my appointment, gave me a kiss. And that was it. I knew that was going to be the end of our physical contact, but when I went to leave, since it was around 9 pm at night, he asked me how far away I lived. I said 20 blocks. Impulsively he said, let me walk you home. We walked through the snow, and when we got within three blocks he stopped me and picked me up and carried me the rest of the way to my Grandparents' house where I was staying. He gave me another small kiss on the lips and was gone. I thought he was saying by carrying me he knew I was still very fragile.
He was the sanest man I had ever met. I had read about such men in books, but never met one. My memory of him would carry me a long ways further into my difficult life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Farmer's Market bargains and not so great buys


Doc informed me this morning that he was going to the store early so as to beat the heat, so I decided to go over to the Circle K to purchase drinking water, pulling my little water cart. Right off I encountered a group of 46 people standing in front of a big casino bus pulled up to the Westward Ho. They were all disgruntled because the driver had just told them that since 4 people did not show up they would not be going. They pleaded and begged but the driver refused to take them minus 4 and drove off leaving them standing there. I spotted a pool player from over to the Silvercrest and his girlfriend, and was shocked when she refused to speak to me, and instead pulled on her BF's arm to indicate I was there. I had not been over to the Silvercrest to play pool for months so I was quite surprised to be greeted in this fashion by the GF of one of the pool players. I had actually asked her several times while I was playing over there a few months if she minded if I played with J. She always assured me she did not mind, but I finally decided that this really could not go on and I had better give up playing pool altogether rather than cause any trouble between a player and his GF especially since I was not interested in him personally at all. He just liked to play pool. The others were not visibly attached to any women so I did not think I would cause trouble for them. One had a wife at home, but I hoped she would not hear about the woman pool player down to the Senior Center who was putting all the men in danger.
I had duly given up pool, but a few months later some vandal broke all the pool sticks in our WHo pool room, so everyone stopped playing pool. They were all younger and I wasn't playing pool with them anyway. Doc had bought me a black stick with a red flame going down it, but I could see that inflammatory stick was not one I should be playing with at all. I could see this morning that my pool playing days had better be over.
I went on over to the Circle K and bought a gallon of drinking water, a cup of coffee, a donut, a small bottle of milk, and a newspaper. The donut was my first in several weeks, but I immediately felt guilty when I saw a headline in the paper that said, "25percent of the citizens in Arizona obese!" I had actually been doing quite well dropping the pounds I had gained while I was sick and unable to walk, and had even gone swimming 4 times this week, but there was no question I was still obese. How had I ever let myself get so fat in the first place? That was a question to ponder as I read the story about all the obese people in the US.
In the meantime more people joined me out in the patio and pretty soon a heated argument broke out. Two men were soon shouting at one another and calling each other names like 'snitch,' 'asshole' etc. Some scattered but I held my ground as I had not not been out there for some time, not since a fight involving one of the participants had erupted the last time I went out there. It looked like the participant in both of the fights was headed for eviction. But several of us had managed to hold on to our good moods and as soon as the fight died down we continued to visit and exchange joking comments about the uproar.
I decided Doc might have returned so made ready to depart after taking some good natured jiving about my old alcoholic BF. I defended Doc saying he was the best alcoholic I knew. They jeered good naturedly, but they knew it was useless to try to drive a wedge between us by sneering at Doc as we had weathered 5 years together and were impervious to criticism.
I found Doc at home and found out he had purchased a sausage and biscuit for me at McDonalds so now I was going to be subjected to the temptation of still another fattening addition to my breakfast. Shamelessly I ate the sausage and biscuit, too, deciding to go for a late lunch. Doc then said he would go to the Farmer's Market with me to buy a water melon. He still had some coupons left over from the food bank to spend, which are only good for Farmer's Market produce.
We went over and I added carrots, onion, peaches, and tomatoes to his watermelon. He spent some time picking out a nice one, he thought. Who can tell about watermelon? Who indeed.
I purchased a cucumber somewhere else and a loaf of bread since I had none. Instead of whole grain I did another no no and bought a loaf of sliced French sourdough. I told him to go on home if he liked as I needed to buy some milk and a whole chicken inside. He tried to talk me out of buying the chicken, saying he could get one cheaper to the store. I said the whole point of my eating poultry, fish, and meat again is to buy chicken that has been raised in a decent way on a farm instead of in those horrible poultry factories. That is no life for a chicken. The organic whole chicken I bought was $6. I intended to saute it a little and then I would make chicken soup out of it with carrots, onions, and rice. I had given him some before and he agreed it was a delicious flavor after he had spiced it up a little.
I bought an avocado and some vinegar and oil dressing made by an Indian woman which was delicious, but quite pricey at $6. I always tear off the labels when Doc might see them and give me lectures about how cheap he can buy the same thing at a big grocery store. I no longer go to any of these chain grocery stores at all. I am a Farmer's Market customer all the way.
I don't see that my grocery bill has gone up, since I don't buy as much, because the choices are less. I already had some plain yogurt at home. I decided I would try some of it in my chicken soup when I made it.
When I got home Doc did not inspect my food purchases for price, so guess he is giving up on that. He wanted me to cut the watermelon and take some of it home. I told him to cut it, so he did, and said I might not like it. Well, that watermelon was yellow instead of the watermelon red I love so much! I said I would taste it. I did and I was sorry I had to tell him that it tasted like it has been crossed with winter squash, which is why they always told us not to plant watermelon and squash side by side. But the heat is headed up to 111 today and I just could not trudge back over there and get another watermelon, and he had already gone to the grocery store so he couldn't either. Why don't they give us the kind of water melon we want instead of yellow ones without warning? Watermelons are always somewhat of a risky buy, but yellow when we just want red? Come on!
Doc was downcast. He takes this kind of misfortune hard. I tried to convince him it was not his fault. But I could not lie to him. What would you have done? I didn't take my half home because I knew I would just throw it away. I am funny that way. I want my watermelon to taste like watermelon.
Otherwise all is well.

Herrad

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