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Showing posts from July, 2005

Like Some Changed Familiar Tree (Estella's Story 3.0)

Hello S, this is the third post which has nothing for us; thanks for passing by the second.

Part two of this series is here.

I notice, as I begin my tenth, yes tenth, Aubrey/Maturin novel that my writing is being affected, even the way I talk, including to students; my diction feels more formal. O'Brian's style is so strong it's unescapable, the same reason Keats quit reading Milton. Only I'm not willing to quit. So far, I haven't rigged a grating for anyone with a late essay, though I am about ready to toss my scrub dogs overboard.

But while I have some free time, more on Estella.

***

And so we were married. Had a medium-large ceremony, a beautiful upper-middle class reception (her parents, not me or my hick family) and drove together to our hotel.

Oh, stepping down into the dark and oily haze, fluid-thick...who wrote 'the old pain moves in me again...'

There were a few sweet things. I remember that we asked everyone for money, all the relatives at least, …

Uncle Frank and the Angels of Avalon

I had a very good vacation. First came four great days on Catalina, or great for the most part. I saw Clint, now finished with his master's in anthropology and actually looking at a probable published thesis; saw J and her father also. In fact, her dad hooked us up with several tours, very cool. S and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary (nine years as a couple, though) at the country club with a full dinner. I hadn't eaten up there; it aims to be the best restaurant on the island. In fact, the food was generally good, truly excellent lobster bisque with a sprinkling of roe (not true caviar) though the chef overcooked my wild boar in my opinion (I asked for chef's choice regarding doneness). But the environment up in the canyon where the Club is located, the lack of crowds and noise, the excellent martinis, made up for any defincincies. I only say deficincies because once a meal passes a certain cost, it seems fair to expect pretty high performance. S and I on…

Of Mice and God

I don't have time to put up a true post; today I'm finishing up my summer classes and packing for Catalina, Long Beach, and Ontario. Catalina first. Oh my gosh. The smell alone. Three nights, four days (at least) and our fifth wedding anniversary spent on the island.

But I will say this: I was scared, very scared, of hantavirus since the mice appeared. Irrationally scared. But more frightened, I would say triggered, than I had been in years. My wife, who has known me nine years almost to the day, said she had never seen me that scared. Somehow, someway, a very young part of me came out.

A couple of things: one, I opened up to her in a way I probably never have, embarassed as I was of my fear, I shared some childhood memories of being left home alone with bugs at four; of my mother telling me if I touched my mouth to a drinking fountain I'd get trench mouth (and I still don't know what the hell that is, but I'm still afraid to touch my mouth to drinking fo…

Of Mice and Men 1.0

This is a continuation of the post below:

I did everything by the book; I probably didn't need to. But I bleached the heck out of the droppings in our broiler pan and under the sink, then bleached everything else in there, and then carefully scooped out the droppings using latex gloves, sealed all in baggies which went into tied off garbage bags.

Am I off my rocker? Maybe. But at least I felt like I could take some anti-hanta action.

And I had a great, great talk with a friend on the phone today, in tears for part of it. So many traumatic memories of being left alone as a child and having to figure everything out, not knowing what would kill me and what couldn't, having a very, very fearful mother...I swear it again, if I saw any other mice I'd be in the motel until my pest guy gets here Monday.

There is, still, one in the back bathroom, or was last night. I put a trap in there along with three others different places in the house. I must become a better housecleaner! B…

Fear, Take Two

Hey all,

I appreciate all the positive comments below; I know I grew by going up Coit Tower. Everyone has fears, surely, but my fear of flying greatly hinders my life, and when I was younger and my fears were greater, there were so many things I missed. I'd count the view from Coit as one of those things; it was nice to be there.

But today, frankly, I'm freaking out.

I've never been sure what to do with my blog from post to post. I began wanting to write about my faith and my doubt; then almost immediately I needed support (I felt much more isolated a year ago than I do now) and so I used the blog for that, as a place to share. Sure it's all visible worldwide, but I knew a handful of supportive people were reading, and out the issues came. I thought, too, that that was part of presenting my faith: yes I believe in Jesus, but look at who I really am also. Not what I'd seen modelled during most of my church years when the presssure for conformity, doctrinal and b…

Coit Tower

I can't write, or say, 'Coit Tower' without my inner Butthead making his Butthead noise, 'huh, huh, he said coit.' I know the name comes from Lillie Coit, who after her death in 1929 left money for the building (Butthead also wants me to point out that her middle name was Hitchcock). But it's so darned close to coitus, and the building is a 210 foot phallic monument on top of one of San Francisco's highest hills. Some say it's shaped like a fire hose nozzle; I don't actually know the truth behind that. But while the murals on the first floor (which are the only ones we were allowed to see; the second floor and stairway were not open for some reason) are beautiful, 1934 depression-era, and in places plainly political, often concerned with labor, quite worth seeing on their own, what concerns me is the, uh, tip of the thing.

If you read you know I'm afraid of heights, or am working through that fear. And I've been afraid of ascending Coit …

Twice to the Sea (Part Two of Two)

I'm sick. A low grade fever, around 100 or a little over, since Monday night, and body aches. And while this is probably some 'normal' virus, it's taking a different course from the usual cold. I played it safe, called my doctor, and I'm going in this afternoon. Good for me. Again, probably nothing, but I'm one of those armchair doctors who evaluates my symptoms according to what I can find online; and I don't go in unless I know I need a med (an inhaler, say for the wicked chest colds I get after nearly every illness) when I know something is almost certainly viral. Still, why not play it safe?

I remember two springs ago I bucked up, cut up (excuse the mountain lingo) an oak that fell on our property. Later I had a bump inside my left arm; I scratched at it and something seemed to come off, but I thought nothing of it. Then, a little later, I noticed a faint red ring around the spot. I was the only person I knew up here whose (obsessive) reading …

Tom and Brooke

Theology mom writes about the Cruise/Shields feud over psychotropic meds. Look out all, great minds are clashing in Hollywood. I don't have time for a full post, but here's my two shiny lincolns on the whole psychotropic med thing:

with slight updates on second viewing a few hours later


for one, Tom is foolish to lump all mental illness into one category; schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression, not to mention other forms of depression and the whole catalogue of anxiety disorders (of which I've had all, I believe) are not the same things.

two, Tom's description sounds like psychiatry in the 50's and 60's, maybe 70's, perhaps what Hubbard had in mind when he was writing and alive. Shock therapy now is not what it was then. And meds have advanced considerably for most forms of mental illness.

three, I don't know a thing about postpartum depression and I'm not going to pretend; it sounds like a time of tremendous hormonal changes whi…