If it’s Friday it must mean leftovers . . .

The Brooklyn Citizen, New York, September 24, 1899

“as if reality had become naked and nothing remained except the silent
spinning of atoms and molecules
it was a flapping of wings over blue and white waves, a sparkle of
sun on the rocks” ~ Octavio Paz, from “Kostas Papaioannou”

Friday afternoon, sunny and hot, 87 degrees.

Not the best day. It’s stuffy in the house, and we still have no AC.

Corey has gone to a health fair offering free dental, vision, and medical care. His tooth problem has gotten really bad, and it needs to be pulled. He got up before 5 a.m. to be there at 6 for the tickets, only to be told that today’s slots were all filled. He was told to come back at 2 to get a slot for tomorrow when there will be more providers. It’s an hour each way. He said that there were tons of people there.

Tell again there’s nothing wrong with healthcare in this country . . .

Bailey and Tillie got in another fight as soon as Corey left the house . . .

There will be no funeral or service for Dallas, and the lawyer has advised us not to get involved in the whole situation involving his ashes because we had offered to take care of them. This whole situation really, really sucks . . .

Not much of a collection for today, but a good segment from Colbert. Just not into it, plus computer woes continue . . .

Needs no explanation:

Too true, that . . .

How is it that this kid has a better plan at her age than I’ve ever had at any age?

At last, scientific proof of the concept that has plagued me forever; the peer reviewer’s comments are pure gold:

My kind of grandma . . .

The Decatur Herald, Illinois, August 23, 1935

For those who didn’t watch the entire second night of the Democratic debates, here’s a good snapshot:


“I really don’t write to an audience. I never imagined an audience. I imagine other lonely people, such as myself. I don’t know who they are or where they are, and I don’t care, but they’re the people whom I want to reach.” ~ A. R. Ammons, from “An Interview with William Walsh”

Soap Film by Umberto Salvagnin

“This past week has been parceled up, or broken down, into so many unrelated parts that I feel like Humpty Dumpty. Suddenly it’s Friday, and I sit here baffled, sulky and wanting a refund, a re-run, a recount.” ~ Robert Phelps in a letter to James Salter (February 20, 1969-70)

Saturday afternoon, cloudy, 43 degrees.

I slept very poorly last night; I finally gave in and took a half of a sleeping pill sometime around 2 a.m. Of course, the fact of my lack of sleep didn’t stop the puppies from waking me at 7 a.m. I’m thinking of trading all of them in for a gerbil; gerbils don’t make noise, right?

So this past week I had an appointment with a neurologist. I had such high hopes that I had finally found a new doctor to take care of my myriad of pain issues . . . alas, not so much.

Plastic Cup + Water + Nail Polish by Milena Vargas

This was the neurologist that I had originally been scheduled to see in June, but Monday afternoon, I decided to call to see if there had been any cancellations, and voila! Cancellation for Tuesday morning at 10. This particular doctor is located in Abingdon, so that meant leaving the house by 8:30. Those of you who know me know that 8:30 in the morning is not my favorite time of the morning.

Anyway, we left on time, and I had my paperwork all completed, and I was greatly anticipating a good situation. I should have known better; this particular neurologist scoffed at the regimen that my former neurologist had me on, a regimen that took much, much trial and error and time to arrive at. She told me that she would never prescribe my particular medication for migraines. I explained, once again, that my regimen was to address not only migraines, but also chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and restless leg syndrome, to which she replied that she was only going to treat my migraines.

I left there less than happy, to say the least and with little intention of keeping the followup appointment in two months.

“Beyond myself
somewhere I wait for my arrival.” ~ Octavio Paz, from “The Balcony (El balcon)”

Then on Wednesday morning, Corey and I got ready again, this time to go to Bristol, an Tennessee/Virginia, a mere hour and a half away, so that I could get an echocardiogram and an ultrasound (for a supposed heart murmur and to check my thyroid). We got there, and Corey dropped me off to go do errands. I tried to check in, only to be told that my appointments were for the next day.

Weathered Metal Plate by Neuköllner

Seriously? I mean . . . seriously?

I imagine that screeching aloud not as a result of physical pain is probably frowned upon in hospitals, so I bit my tongue and asked if there were any way that I could have the tests done then, and . . . of course not. So I asked to used the phone so that I could try to get Corey to return (the whole cell phone situation is still not remedied). Anyway, I cancelled both appointments, and I’ll reschedule after I see the new PCP, which I think I’m doing sometime at the end of March. Granted, the whole heart murmur thing is a concern, but never in having hundreds (thousands?) of people listen to my chest has anyone ever mentioned anything about a murmur.

So one good thing did come from the painful visit to the unhelpful neurologist: I got a referral to a pain management place, one that I’m 100 percent certain that I had already called and tried to get into. Anyway, I have an appointment to see them at the end of May, so if I can just keep trying vitamins and supplements and ibuprofen for the pain, maybe I can hold out until May 30.

“I’m fighting myself. I know I am. One minute I want to remember. The next minute I want to live in the land of forgetting. One minute I want to feel. The next minute I never want to feel ever again.” ~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz, from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

So that’s the story of my week, one truly disappointing appointment, two non-existent appointments,  two future appointments. By Friday, I was freaking emotionally and physically exhausted (bear in mind, I left the house for two full days, an anathema for me). No wonder I couldn’t sleep last night.

Corpi celesti astratti by Luca Biada

Listen, I know that my expectations are really high when it comes to physicians, but I’m one of those people who has absolutely no tolerance for people being condescending to me, so when I find a doctor who will speak to me one-on-one, without the whole I’m the doctor and I know best vibe, I really connect. Usually, I do better with female physicians, the big exception being my former pain management doctor.

I really looked forward to those appointments, not only because of the pain-relieving trigger point injections, but also because that doctor and I had really great political discussions. That’s a rarity: a doctor who sees you as an intelligent human being worthy of having a conversation with.

This new neurologist? Absolutely not. She did everything but pat me on the head. Or at least that’s how it felt.

Whatever. I just cannot even.

I know. I know: lower my expectations.

will I begin When shall I
open my mouth
and let half
the world
fall in.” ~ Patrick Rosal, from “Meditations on the Eve of My Niece’s Birth”

Except, I will not lower my expectations. I’m tired of lowering my expectations. I’m tired of rampant stupidity. I’m tired of attitude problems from physicians and insurance companies and pharmacies. I’m tired of people on tumblr not even knowing the difference between simply homonyms, or even knowing what a homonym is. And I won’t even get into politics.

Dirt, shadows and reflections on glass in a greenhouse in Manchester by Liz Sullivan

Enough on the physician rant, the societal rant, the spelling rant (okay, maybe not the spelling rant, not ever).

Petra (one of the horses) is much better. I did some research on the condition that Dallas identified as being what was wrong with her, and he was incorrect, sort of. It is a grass sickness, but it isn’t tetany, as that’s mostly a cattle sickness. For horses, it’s called equine grass sickness.

In the meantime, Napoleon and Sassy are enjoying being the only horses in the pasture. Corey picked up some apple treats for horses, and I doled out a few this morning. Major hit.

“The verb kalchainein, ‘to search for the purplefish, came to signify profound and troubled emotion: to grow dark with disquiet, to seethe with worries, to search in the deep of one’s mind, to harbor dark thoughts, to brood darkly.” ~ Anne Carson, from “Variations on the Right to Remain Silent”

That’s about all for now, I suppose. The current obsession with podcasts continues. Currently, I’m listening to “Crime Junkie,” as I like the chemistry between the two hosts, that, and the fact that there is not inane banter. I may revisit Night Vale at some point, except that it reminds me of Brett, and that’s still way too painful.

Small Glass Bead by Dave Croker

Corey and I both seem to be on the mend as far as the upper respiratory gunk we’ve been dealing with. Even the missing fingertip seems to be on the mend. It is still quite painful whenever I bang it into something, which I do with great frequency as it’s one of my longest fingers, or rather, it used to be . . . Typing is still tender, so there’s that as well.

On a totally different tangent, I’m wondering if anyone out there in the ether has any subjects in particular that they would like to see me tackle. Think of it as a writing prompt for me. Nothing political, as that would only result in thousands of words embodying scathing commentary on my part. I have thought about updating one of those personal surveys, as the last one was several years ago, but I’m not sure. Too juvenile? Random?

Thoughts? Comments? Snoozes?

As always, more later. Peace.

All of today’s images, which are examples of abstract photography, which I love and wish that I could do, were found on Wikimedia Commons.

Music by X Ambassadors, “Unsteady”

“Again, my mind vibrates uncomfortably as it always does. Actually, I am overwhelmed with things I ought to have written about and never found the proper words. I do not let myself think. This is a fact. I cannot face much of the meaning. Shut my mind to anything but work and bowls. And I wonder as I let the month run through my fingers: Can I get out of it? Out of it all? Truth is, I feel all shadows of the universe multiplied deep inside my skin. (Isn’t it all dust and ashes?) I am impressed by the transitoriness of human life to such an extent that I am often saying a farewell…and my heart currently resembles the ashes of my cigarettes; In fact, I’m in the mood to dissolve in the sky.”

~ Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 1 July 1918

“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” ~ Jean de La Fontaine

fortune favors the bold marquee


“There is an uncertain territory
between night and day.
It is neither light nor shadow:
it is time.” ~ Octavio Paz, from “Cantata”

Tuesday afternoon. Partly cloudy, mid 50’s.

Athens GA marquee
Athens, Georgia Marquee

I’m going to attempt to do a real post today, but I make no promises. I didn’t sleep well last night because of the ongoing breathing issues, and when I did sleep, it was fitful. I had the fighter pilot dream again in which I was one of only two women in a squadron filled with males who did not believe that women should fly jets. My friend Jammi was also in a different section of the dream. I was giving directions from downtown Norfolk, and it was a route that I have taken several times in my dreams. Then there was the murder under the guise of an opera on a rooftop, and the animals that were encased in clear coffins, but they were still alive.

All in all, not the best night for resting.

I went to the doctor today; she’s prescribed an antibiotic, prednizone and a cough medicine. I also have to have a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Which leads me to this question: Why can I not have a cold like a regular person? Why does my body go from zero to full-blown lung spasms? Why?

Yep. I have no answers either. Corey and I had planned our mini vacation for next week sometime. Now we’ll just have to see if my body cooperates. Nothing is worse than being sick while on vacation.

Before I forget, I wanted to pass along my thanks to those of you who sent me notes and cards after my dog Shakes died. It meant so much, and you are a great group of people out there in the ether.

I realize that my recent posts haven’t been exactly crackling with wit or wisdom. It’s hard to accomplish much of anything when you are already feeling quite low from yet another loss, and then maladies take hold. I did manage to consume several books over the past weekend, and I’m seriously contemplating shelving the rest of this post until tomorrow, surrendering to the inevitable, and crawling back into bed with another book. In fact, that sounds rather more pleasant than continuing with this.

“Nothing is plumb, level or square:
the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature” ~ Alan Dugan, from “Love Song: I and Thou”

Saturday afternoon. Sunny and mild, high 50’s.

Portage Theater Save Me marqueeSo obviously, I did not get back to the post in any kind of timely fashion. I felt better and then . . . I didn’t. That always happens. I start to feel better, and then I overdo it, and then I feel bad again. Today I have jelly legs, as in when I walk, I feel as if my legs are made of jello and cannot support my weight. It’s delightful, I tell you, absolutely delightful.

Other than reading voraciously, I have not accomplished a lot in the past week. I mean, I did clean out the mail basket, sort bills that won’t get paid, and get together stuff to shred, which sounds like way too much work for mail, but hey, I’m nothing if not thorough.

My friend Leah in NC suggested that I just start to request delivery of the antibiotics as soon as Thanksgiving is over, and I think that she’s right. Anyway, it turns out, I do have pneumonia, not just bronchitis, and would it help you to sense my actual mental state if I told you that it just took me three tries to spell Thanksgiving, and two tries to spell bronchitis?

Yep. Jelly legs and now fingers, too, it seems.

“The only escape, I think, is to work the mind.” ~ Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 11 March 1930

Image of theater renovation at 213 West 42nd St.
Lyric Theater Renovation, 213 W. 42nd Street, NY

I was just sitting here wondering why I feel so cold (aside from the fact that Corey goes outside and leaves the back door open because I just love giving extra money to the power company to heat the yard) when I realized that I’m wearing only a nightgown and no socks, so yoga pants, sweatshirt and Christmas socks later, much better.

I’m trying to stay hydrated and nourished, but I go between bouts of extreme nausea to extreme hunger. Corey made me the most wonderful stew using the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. It was a hug pot of comfort food. Did I mention how much I missed being spoiled by him when he was gone? If I didn’t, well I did.

I’m trying not to think about my abandoned NaNoWriMo project too much. I mean, I actually started two stories, and while I did not get very far, it’s the most I’ve done in plot development in ages and ages. I’m holding on to what I’ve done so far, and maybe after the holidays I can resume work. Speaking of which, Corey’s mom is such a sweetie; one of the reasons she chose the hotel for their stay was because it had an indoor pool, and she thought that I might want to escape to the hotel and swim and write for a few hours, which, normally, would have been so tempting, but as I was already fighting succumbing to the nasty in my chest, I never was able to take advantage of.

So I’m hoping to resume the writing in a few weeks, after decorating, packages, family dinners, and oh yes, nastiness in chest.

“Blessed are the weird people
—poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters, troubadours
for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” ~ Jacob Nordby

Grand Lake marquee
Grand Lake Marquee

I’m making a real effort to finish this post today, in spite of this nagging desire to crawl into bed and read. My logic is that if I finish this post, then I will have accomplished something (besides laundry), and it will give me the impetus to keep things rolling, but so far, not so much.

Weirdly enough, I am feeling more dizzy as the day progresses. Relapse anyone? No, seriously, this isn’t funny. On Thursday, Corey and I did errands for several hours, and I felt pretty good, tired by the end of the day, but better than I’ve felt in a week. Then yesterday kind of hinky, weak, but this dizziness?

Do I need chocolate? Could that be the source of my body’s quivering (and not quivering in even remotely a good way). Actually, I’m craving tiramisu and fresh fish. Corey went in search of some of the latter for dinner in the hopes that the Omega-3’s will boost whatever is ailing me.

“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” ~ Haruki Murakami

So in case you’re wondering: the images? Quirky images for a quirky post. Seemed fitting.

tempest-storm-marquee2I did stop writing to do some laundry and to read a book that had been on my reading pile, only to discover that I’m fairly certain that I already read it. It’s a Linda Fairstein book, one of her early ones. I like the later ones better, less reliance upon snappy/snarky dialogue, and more character development.

In other news, Lex, Mike and Olivia had a family Christmas portrait made yesterday. I can’t wait to see them. I’m really hoping that she’ll send them out along with the thank you notes and birth announcement that have been written since forever but remain unposted. My daughter. What can I say?

Brett’s semester is winding down, and it’s not a week too soon. It’s been a long painful one for him, one in which he has questioned his decisions and seriously contemplated just quitting. I’m really hoping that once the semester is over he can take the time he’s been planning and make that trip to New Zealand. If he doesn’t do it now, when will he?

And eldest son made a life decision last week and applied for his T.W.I.C., the first step in pursuing a job as a merchant marine. I’d love for him to consider attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy like his grandfather, or the Seaman’s School in maritime that my own father attended, but one thing at a time, I suppose.

Tillie has torn up her new stuffed baby. Alfie is still not letting me put medicine on his sores, and Corey is kind of in between. He’s definitely feeling better, so glad that his cough and nastiness didn’t get full-blown like mine, but I sense that he’s just kind of ambling through the news few weeks until he’s ready to make a change.

That all for now. Sorry it’s so boring, but I’m hoping to regain my speed as the week progress.

More later. Peace.

Music by Fiona Apple, “Why Try to Change Me Now”


By the Same Author

Today, no matter if it rains,
It’s time to follow the path into the forest.
The same people will be walking the same dogs,
Or if not the same dogs, dogs that behave in similar fashions,
Some barking, some standing aloof.
The owners carry plastic bags.
But this is the forest, they complain, we must do as we like.
We must let the dogs run free,
We must follow their example,
The way we did when we were young.
Back then we slept, watched TV—
We were the dogs.
By the time the screen door slammed, we were gone.
Nobody really talks like that in the forest.
They’re proud of their dogs,
Proud especially of the ones who never bark.
They’re upset about the Norway maple, it’s everywhere,
Crowding out the hickories and oaks.
Did you know it takes a million seeds to make one tree?
Your chances of surviving in the forest,
Of replicating yourself, are slim.
Today, the smaller dogs are wearing raincoats,
The bigger ones are stiffing it out.
They’re tense, preoccupied,
Running in circles,
Getting tangled in the leash—
It’s hard remaining human in the forest.
To move the limbs of the body,
To speak intelligible words,
These things promise change.

~ James Longenbach