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    • Crystal says:

      Hello everyone! It’s been a long long time since I’ve followed the blog. I remember myself being very detached in comments I would make in the past!! Always desperate it seemed!

      • Renee says:

        Welcome, Crystal! And welcome to your desperate part and your detached part……and the parts you did not mention, namely your caring part, your giving part and your funny part, along with all your other parts.

        • Crystal says:

          Thank you Renee!

        • Crystal says:

          Renee- I am really feeling detached! The desperate hasn’t quite kicked in! I feel like I’m messaging words and then later- don’t even know what I said!
          I think I must go to sleep and rest!

          • Renee says:

            Crystal, I think the part of you that needs to detach is serving an important purpose. Any idea of what it could be?

            • Crystal says:

              Renee- I’m still thinking or maybe I should say I will not let myself be still long enough to think about it!
              I mentioned to Gretchen in a session that I keep so much stress and so much going on so I don’t have to see myself!
              Then the Matt thing conveniently happened!

              • Renee says:

                You have a good son, Crystal. He’s right there for you when you need him. I hope you let him know how much you love and appreciate him.

                • Crystal says:

                  I’m very concerned as of today because I have not heard from him since Friday at 9:30am. No one has. I know he left the hotel and no one has heard from him since Thurs.
                  I’ve texted photos of his dog, Roxy, that he loves more than anything, but no response. His phone has been off since last Friday phone company says!
                  LosAngeles detective told me to give it another day and call her back. He’s not been arrested or put in jail!!
                  I’m feeling very afraid for him!

              • superstarguru says:

                I’m a little confused here. I thought her son is causing serious emotional distress for Crystal? Or does she have two sons: One easy to be with and the other more problematic? Just confused…

                • Crystal says:

                  Guru- That is correct! Renee is thinking of the son that is married and has an 8yr old!
                  Matt is my run-away son that is somewhere in CA! Matt finally called tonight from a Utah phone he borrowed at the beach. So he’s once again living homeless at the beach in Santa Monica!

                  • superstarguru says:

                    Crystal, OK got it now, thanks. I have fond memories of walking from Venice to Santa Monica and back almost every day when I was in LA. If I was forced into homelessness, that area would be semi-desirable haunt to roam around due to the nice weather and healthy seaside living. (Just trying to put a sliver of goodness onto a bad situation here.)

      • Barry M says:

        Hi Crystal.
        it’s Barry of Leslie and Barry, (I always list it in that order now as I’ve finally succumbed to reality 🙂 !) I’m so glad to see you here, as I remember really enjoying your presence at the last Retreat we were at together. Bienvenue.

        • Barry M says:

          p.s. If your not THAT Crystal fuggetabout it!

        • Crystal says:

          Yes Barry it’s me!! You or Leslie had me as a secret pal!! I still have the Canadian magazine with Christmas recipes, lovely earrings and a Christmas ornament. So it would have been a Thanksgiving retreat!

          • Barry M says:

            If it’s earrings, ornaments and thoughtful magazines, then your secret pal was prob’ly Leslie. I’m more of a ‘take you out to lunch’ kinda guy. But hey, I liked you just as much!

    • Crystal says:

      I need to throw something out here. I’m stressed for time so I’ll get right into it. My son, Matt Reid left Arkansas a week or 2 weeks ago. I’m sleep deprived and can’t remember.
      He called from TX with a $1 and no gas. Went to CO and was 50 miles from my niece house and my nephew told him wasn’t good time to come. Ginger is over 5 treatment centers.
      Next call is he is passing Grand Canyon sign and needs gas so I paypaled $50. So he’s in Santa Monica next call and getting money cash app to him.
      He called me one afternoon and said he was parked along the beach where the other cars park watching the ocean!! You never have over a 4-5 word conversation on his terms or he gets irate!! I’ve been through this many times so I was trying to not let it consume me as I had in past.
      Next call was from my older son last Monday a week ago I think telling me that Matt was involved in an accident and Aaron asked speak officer which said your brother is hurt but would not offer any services or treatment. He walked off with his cellphone. Aaron asked officer to take him to hospital that he was out of his mind. He said he talked clear headed so we cannot!!
      I’m talking with wrecker service asking about car and all— she said there’s nothing left of it.
      His brakes went out coming down a hill and hit 2 other cars on the Pacific Coast Hwy! She said it was a very bad wreck and the bill is at whatever and part of it was a $1300 charge for Hwy clean up. Matt had all belongings in back.
      Rachael n her husband were in another state n drove to LA hoping to find him since we had not heard in 3 days. He finally gets phone charged n calls me n her. They dealt with him for 4 days dancing smiling one moment and the next acting like the devil himself!!
      They had to leave Sunday. He had 2nd degree burns and he will not go to a clinic. Feet and ankles swollen can’t wear shoes so she said he’ll not be leaving the hotel!!
      I’ve tried to get a temp guardianship order this am and need more papers. I had an appt for involuntary but that’s not good for CA.
      Just called LA state hospital or something and they said call 911 to go to hotel to room and pick him up!! I said he will get violent and have strength of 4 men!! Said tell officer!

      So getting ready to do that!! I said I was not doing anything but here I am. Left to me. The Dad is busy but was in his care and Matt’s medications weee last filled 1/21/2021

      • Crystal says:

        Here I go again being consumed!! I have spent 8am until 4:45pm trying to get a plan!! First off, (and Guru this is because you made suggestions about communication)— I decided to do just that with my son. He does not want one asking about his wounds but I decided in a very nice manner to do so to see the reaction this am. I asked him if his feet and ankles were swollen and if he had tried to put on shoes? Rach said he couldn’t wear shoes. So the reply was — Leave me the fuck along you stupid ass Bitch!! I’m blocking your ass!
        So— do I want to help him? In the past, no matter what I would!
        But I’m thinking about drawing a line!!
        He knows how to use his phone to get what he wants! Someone sent $100 and he ordered lobster! With other money he had, he got on several dating sites!! I don’t know who is sending money. Not me! He will in no way go to a medical clinic nor would he get in that ambulance which tells me if he had done either one he might not be able to do what he’s doing!! I’m just not sure when you draw the line and say- no more help when a person in his mental state is off at times. If 911 came to his room- he could speak very clea.

    • Crystal says:

      Update on Matt!! He was very angry last night!! Leaves me a message screaming top of his lungs saying- I hate people that lie to me!!”
      Then he calls Rachael later saying he is going to mess up the guy at the other hotel that told him to put hot water on his legs. The next thing he was going to do was go get his car. He thinks he can buy gas and drive it out of the towing yard.
      He also said he was not going to kill someone unless Jesus tells him to.
      Rachael called 911 to go hotel room and he was nice and said “no sir” “yes sir” to every question!
      He’s back on streets today. He called me at noon and said That was the dirtiest hotel he had ever stayed in and he cleaned his room all morning and picked up all the trash outside. Well that’s the reason his dad threw him out of his house is because he didn’t make his bed up because his dad is a real neat freak!!
      I’ve been working all day so this hasn’t really hit me yet! He’s so nice during the day and violent at night!!

    • Crystal says:

      Just an up date of what’s going on with my son Matt. My daughter and I are in Santa Monica. We drove here from Little Rock to look for him! We went to the pier this morning and talked to Santa Monica police and they directed us to lifeguard office building. The guy there had seen him 2-3 days ago. We left photos and our phone#. About 15 mins later we get a call they spotted Matt! I was in the truck with lifeguard and we kept our eyes on him until the police and firemen got there!! He resisted but they were able to constrain him and get him in the back of truck and then to hospital!!
      He yelled obscenities and anything else all afternoon!
      I guess we will see what tomorrow brings! I’ve got to get rest so I can think clear .
      Hopefully a good night of rest now!

    • David says:

      SHOCKING Video evidence.
      Disgusting criminality; the oppression of Palestinian citizens, daily brutalized inside the Horror Prison Camp Israel calls,
      ‘ Palestine;’ Children, non ambulatory, included. The rehearsed, Stormtrooper Cowardess of another Democratic / Fascist, political schism mentality, Israel, Democracy for Jews, Hellish Fascist Aggression for Occupied Palestinians. With the World’s attention rightly focused on Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israel might feel extra levels of invisability of it’s unchecked war crimes against Palestinians.
      As is happening in Russia only Israeli Jew citizens can stop this madness. The , ‘ Free World,’ must stop it’s complicity in the Israel attempts of genocide against Palestinians
      0:02 / 8:13
      #TYT #IndisputableTYT #News
      Israeli Police Attack Palestinian Muslims Celebrating A Holiday Playing

    • Bill Jones says:

      I’d like to share some good news.
      I have complained of a lack of energy for years. I’d wake up fairly ok and crash about 2:00pm. I’ve told this to psychiatrists and general physicians and was given help for sleep apnea. I couldn’t tell if my fatigue was from side-effects to my anti-psychotic med, glucose levels, sleep apnea or what. I sensed it wasn’t old feelings or depression. In fact, one of my doctors said if my fatigue was from depression or sleep apnea I’d be down all the time instead of waking ok and going downhill..
      Strangely, some times in the past I could sink into the feeling of “I feel so depressed” and feel better. It was a feeling unto itself.
      It seems I was simply overdosing on caffeine. Caffeine is so strange. It has a reputation for giving energy, but above a certain level it was making me tired and sick. If I wasn’t feeling ok I’d take more and more in the hopes it would help and it backfired on me.
      Years ago I heard of “sleep deprivation” for depression. If we get up very early, it helps. Just going to sleep late doesn’t.
      Also, my neurologist at Kaiser who specializes in sleep said too much sleep can make a person “sleep drunk.”

      • David says:

        looking forward to comments on this. Both caloric and sleep ,’deprivation,’ affect me. I try to practice, if I ‘ wake up, get up Going back to sleep really makes me feel quite ill, brain and body….

    • FRED says:

      April 16, 2022

      John Lennon: “It’s hard enough I know just to FEEL your own pain” (“Aisumasen” 1973).

      Indeed, that was his experience but really. Is this the nature of (the larger framework of) personal reality?

      Is is ALWAYS a struggle?

      Is it always HARD, for crying out loud (also known as having a primal)?

      To paraphrase Christ, do the birds of the sky worry about how they will eat?

      Do the lilies of the field try to “figure out” how to grow?

      Isn’t there an endemic ease underlying all creation?

      All right. Humanity is damaged goods in one way or another. Dr. Janov gave us considerable information about how this came about within the framework he confined the discussion. He was probably wise to “keep it there” for any number of reasons (and stay out of more existential question such as “why did we have the particular childhoods we had?); or maybe the doc felt like it was “above his pay grade so it wasn’t his ‘yob’”.

      In his life’s body of work of almost exactly 50 years, he left us with MUCH to ponder, to experiment with, to incorporate into our own personal Knowing and, yes, even to reject or alter. Indeed!

      Janov is not among the living but WE are, last time I checked which was earlier today when I had to pee from TOO MUCH coffee.

      Possibly we should see much of our suffering, frustration, seeming powerlessness as simply feedback. Maybe that alone can provide some succor.

      Maybe, just maybe we can begin to objectify all this material and see it more for what it is: either the poison of the wretched or the food of the gods, that is, our choice.

      Obviously if we see it as POISON we’ll ignore, block, medicate, eat-away, intoxicate, etc.

      But if we do, the Feeling Child won’t be heard; that crying five-year-old standing on the sidewalk crying out: “What about ME? What about me, MOMMY? What about ME, daddy?” (in some cases it could be grandparents or others who raised the kid but you get the picture).

      To quote Dr. J: “have a primal”.

      As an aside he said “we’d have fewer wars if we had more crybabies”.

      Arthur Janov’s books, especially the first one I think reminded us that there is a preternatural reality which is actually our heritage as human beings born into three-dimensional reality.

      I think the child has a closer connection to this, what you could call, a multi-dimensional, experiential realm. For the most part, I think the child assumes (at least on one level) it will grow to more fully be in and enjoy such a spacious reality.

      That the circumstances of its gestation, birth, infancy, toddler-hood, early childhood, childhood and adolescence all seemed to have conspired to deny the child its heritage of ease, natural grace and expanded reality were the focus of Janov’s books.

      The “why” we all each had such dramatically disparate experiences is the larger framework of reality and basically is essential to the larger understanding that Dr. Janov didn’t address, again as this was not his specialty. He simply left it to others.

      And, the “primalers” are among the others. We’ve all to an extent, glimpsed the Promised Land. We can never go back.

      Speaking for myself I try to remind myself of this regularly that eventually Puff the Magic Dragon will one day return sadly to its cave.

  1. superstarguru says:

    Gretchen, thanks for the new page. The problem having old pages with thousands of comments on them is that they become a “memory hog” gobbling up lots of RAM on a desktop or mobile device, especially if you leave lots of browsers tabs open when web surfing.
    I’ve had several instances where I’ve run into a ‘fatal memory exception’ error causing a crash. Once I removed the tab with with Primal blog page containing thousands of comments, it usually clears up the problem.
    A secondary problem is a page taking a long time to load.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Here I am again.

  3. Margaret says:


  4. Phil says:

    Continuing with the topic of racism. When my sister was in high school and later, and when I was 8 or 9, she volunteered with the Vista organization, to help poor people living in the ghettos of NYC. She did this even though our own family was pretty poor, saddled with big medical bills, and the family was falling apart.. The town where we lived was pretty much 100% white at that time.
    I remember many discussions about the civil rights movement went on in our kitchen between her and our father. One time she came home with a black kid who stayed at our house for the weekend. I don’t remember much about this , except she wanted me to take a bath with this boy, I guess to demonstrate racial harmony. She had the bath water running, but I refused. I didn’t want to be forced to take a bath with anyone.


    • Chris says:

      Phil given all the difficult problems going on in your own household, it is interesting that your sister could find the energy/impetus to engage in civil rights matters. Maybe there was a connection between her experience of the problems with your father and the civil rights issues? It kind of reminds me of the TV show “All in the Family” where Archie Bunker and Gloria had their arguments about civil rights. Watching them it always struck me that the real problem was about their relationship, and the civil rights issues seemed peripheral. And your sister trying to get you to bathe with another boy—another race or not—that just seems weird. I am glad you refused. It seems like the poor boy was being used as a pawn in some ways: to show that she was enlightened on social justice or to rub it in your father’s face?

  5. Renee says:

    If any of you are still interested in watching some or all of the conversation between Gabor Mate and Resmaa Menakem on racialized trauma and how to heal from it, you can find it here: I think it is available until the end of today. The conversation starts at minute 2:00, if you want to skip over the uninspiring intro.

    • Phil says:

      Renee, thanks, I watched a little of the video. Where I have a problem is, how does Menakem conclude that we all have the traumas of hundreds of years of slavery and racism in our black and white bodies? None of that comes out in my feelings.
      I mean, it seems to mostly be an intellectual construct. He maybe has grabbed onto to the idea that traumas are held in our bodies, which is currently popular, and attached his own ideas. I’m sure racism traumatizes people, and slavery certainly would have, but I don’t see that as supporting everything he says. He presents no evidence as far as I can tell.
      He seems very angry, I guess because of the idea of all those years of racism and slavery, and that not everyone agrees with his conclusions, and as to what should be done about it all.
      It could be that his anger has other sources, probably the usual primal kind, but he’s disconnected from that, and instead focuses on racism. Not that it isn’t a problem.

      • Renee says:

        Phil, I think you must’ve watched so little of the video that you missed where Menakem explains how and why both black and white bodies carry de-contextualized, historical trauma.

        I appreciate your honesty, though. As you say, I think for most of us white folk this stuff IS just an “intellectual construct” created by an angry black man who hasn’t dealt with his primal pain. We don’t have to worry that we could get killed going for a jog (Ahmaud Arbery), sleeping in our beds (Breonna Taylor), driving with a broken taillight (Sandra Bland), walking home from the convenience store (Trayvon Martin) or being suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill (George Floyd). We also don’t have to worry that our sons or nephews or grandsons could get killed by police for playing with a toy gun in the park (Tamir Rice). In other words, systemic racism just doesn’t affect us.

        The one thing that you say that surprised me was that you don’t seem to believe that trauma is held in our bodies, as if there is a split between the two. When I see you, I can see your trauma from your relationship with your “lifeless” mother embedded in your face. When I look in the mirror, my overall sad facial expression reflects both my own traumas and my mother’s traumas. Looking at Gabor Maté’s face, it is not hard to see his Jewish mother’s anxiety embedded in it (he was an infant when the Nazis occupied his birth home of Budapest).

        As for evidence of generational trauma, take a look at this researcher at Columbia University describe in simple words how trauma is past down through generations: (Breakthrough: The Trauma Tracer.) FYI, and on a lighter note, I had some pretty cute dresses when I was 2 years old, but not one as cute as this toddler’s dress in this video!

        • Phil says:

          I wasn’t saying that trauma isn’t held in our bodies. But some currently popular therapies focus only on the body, as if just feeling some sensations is going to release it all. I’m not denying the trauma of racism, but for each individual experiencing it, there is a context, isn’t there? The context is during that person’s lifetime and specific experiences, I would think. Not something that happened in 1660 or 1865. It can be directed passed down through the generations by people’s behaviors. So, I don’t get the part about “deconceptualized trauma”, and the need for that theory.

          • Phil says:

            I meant to say “decontextualized trauma”, which is what’s talked about in the video.

            • Renee says:

              Phil, thanks for clarifying what you meant……that it is some of the newer therapies’ exclusive focus on the body that you disagree with, not the idea that trauma is stored in the body. I tend to agree with you. Although, I feel like a bit of a dinosaur when I say that! Besides, I haven’t actually tried one of these therapies, like sensorimotor psychotherapy. I’m assuming you haven’t either. So perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

        • Phil says:

          I haven’t denied systemic racism exists, depending on exactly what that term means. In the part of the video I watched, Menachem seemed to say that systemic racism effects us all, no matter what our skin color, but I don’t believe it has directly effected me, except where there was violence and segregation in communities I’ve lived in etc. I’m feeling done with this subject for now, and not attracted to watching the rest of the video, or other related ones.
          More relevant would be personal experiences related to racism, of which I have little to share.

  6. Renee says:

    Here is another conversation from the recent “Wisdom of Trauma” series. It is between Gabor Mate and V (formerly Eve Ensler, who wrote the Vagina Monologues”). It is titled, “The Trauma in the Body of the World”. Here she draws an analogy between how the systems of Capitalism and Colonialism treat women and how they treat the environment. Yes, it blew my mind……see if it does yours too. Start it at minute 3:00 to bypass the presenters. FYI, Gabor Mate was directly influenced by the work of Arthur Janov. And I think you will see this influence in his work. This video is also available until the end of today.

    • superstarguru says:

      Renee, as we all know you’ve done a fair bit of proselytizing to us about racial matters, and it’s starting to make me wonder how much your relationship with your father may have driven your adult psychosocial outlook? You’ve discussed your mother and your siblings to some extent, yet nary a word about your dad and what possible unconscious role he may have played in all of this.

      • Barry M says:

        U go guru!!! The rest of us need a break!

        • superstarguru says:

          Barry, just to be clear I wasn’t trying to perform a ‘gotcha’ or a ‘zinger’ on Renee. I just felt that there is something more going on here than most of us might be seeing.
          Yes, I did read her post explaining how racism became important to her via the interactions with colleagues and her innate desire to help the underdog in any structure borne by capitalism.
          Renee wrote in the past about a guilt-based relationship with her family of origin, so I was starting to wonder if this is ‘bleeding over’ into ‘white guilt’ over mistreatment of other races, and somehow this guilty energy is being transferred onto the rest of us here on the blog. In other words, we should feel racial guilt too so it can aid her in expiating her own guilt which may be debilitating to her personally.
          Armchair psychoanalysis is just a hobby of mine, so take all of the above I wrote with a grain of sea salt.

          • superstarguru says:

            I mean, I could definitely see why sensitive and socially conscious whites who may have benefitted from South Africa’s old apartheid system, either directly or indirectly, could feel a lot of guilt and/or shame over that. Throw in more guilt and shame as part of a possibly dysfunctional family dynamic, and I could almost see an overwhelming urge to expiate personal guilt by trying to make every white person around me feel the same guilt I am feeling.

          • FRED says:

            April 16, 2022

            Re: racism

            I believe that, at it’s core, “racism” is simply a way to avoid feeling “Pain” (capitalization, Arthur Janov’s term, “The Primal Scream”, 1970).

            If one in some ways makes him or herself “superior” to another person based on race (and of course in other areas of human endeavor) they are pushing away (what people judge as) uncomfortable feelings. This isn’t “bad” or “good”. It is an objective fact.

            For “victims” of racism, they will normally feel hurt, maybe act out being “inferior”. These would resonate with their own “Old Feelings” (capitalization, Arthur Janov’s term, “The Primal Scream”, 1970) where they were made to feel “two foot tall” (John Lennon’s line in “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, the Beatles, 1965).

            Concomitantly, for example, “black rage against racism” is the covering up inner devastation and hurt (often from “Mommy” in a fatherless home), the other side of the coin (remember?–paraphrasing Janov, “we” could give these angry people “everything” they wanted but it would not touch the “Pain” inside from the first 12 or so years of life).

            It is kind of a drama often, sadly, played out over an entire lifetime between the two groups where each essentially is acting out a role (“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”: William Shakespeare from “As You Like It”, Act 2 Scene 7, Lines 139-40; Jacques to Duke Senior and his companions).

            Remember what Art Janov said “neurosis is a life sentence”.

            In my opinion, in various books, articles and emails (on the “human condition”) written by Arthur Janov, there are some valid ideas for a person to begin to access and feel the “Pain”; and expedite integrating the concomitant feelings which would then bring to light these hurtful adapted “racist” attitudes, created to cover that “Pain”. You could say that this is the Unreal Self (Arthur Janov, “The Primal Scream”, 1970).

            Fortunately, although Primal Therapy might be a good training framework for an individual to expand and develop his or her abilities to “feel”, it isn’t a necessity. We all can honestly work with our feelings and hopefully over time become more skilled at recognizing attitudes we adopted (starting in early childhood) to keep us from feeling and thus integrating them.

            I daresay, to a large extent, we control the audio. We control the video as they used to say on the old TV show “Outer Limits”; that is to say we obviously need to adopt an intrepid attitude towards our largely blocked-off self which necessarily requires beginning to speed up the process of removing the blinders.

            This obviously includes CRYING. For more on “crying” check out some of the books written by Janov as well as excerpts for the doctoral dissertation of Barry Bernfeld, M.A., and therapist at the Primal Institute in Los Angeles.


    good you are here on blog crystal. you probably remember my wife barbara more than me. dont say my real name on blog please. anyway, you won’t be hearing me speak much on blog nor checking for replies although i should. i am the loner, afraid-of-people-until-my-last-breath-possibly-narcssistic-like-some-of-the-rest-of-us-primal-people. I again be NOT SPEAKING in group today. I will again be NOT going to group today. We will be meeting our youngest son Alex in the Grove in L.A. for Father’s Day or just a quick strategy session for his upcoming restraining order court date on Thursday. Guess he should not have gotten married and had kids either. Like me, who gave him all the anger and bad parenting that has led to this sorry situation. Oh well, we survived the pandemic physically, but now what? Oh yes, the other son John is somewhat successful but Alex says his company is doing bad, he has a bad back that requires probably narc meds, spends the evenings drinking himself to blackout, but has a lovely wife and thus who knows for how long. ANYWAY, SAME OLD BARB, BURSTING IN WHILE I SPREAD MY SHIT to those who don’t need my shit. I don’t want fathers day gifts from john and wife or barb. Stop spending money! Now we have to give alex our last bit of credit card money for lawyer. After we gave last bit of money to the vet of our 2 stupid but loving cats. I am sure we will pull back from money worries; that is just a constant in our life. I AM NOT ASKING FOR CHARITY NOR WILL I TAKE IT. Barbara’s sister is sitting in a 2 million dollar house but I only say that why? Because I am a creep. I hate and am jealous of people who had more than me. I grew up with a grandmother who gave me a lot of my creepiness and depression. Barb’s sister has given alex a place to stay while he gets his life together. Alex is seeing ‘E’ the therapist and sounds a million times saner than that night where he went totally nuts 2 months ago. I am eternally grateful for the small house we are renting in the valley. It is really climate change here, hotter than hell, and the air is not breathable and my only certainty in this life is death. We watched memoirs of a geisha and my takeaway is a line that I have probably mangled. This line said by the chairman or the friend who saved his life during their rape of nanking. This line said to the geisha that the chairman kindly saved during her childhood and then again as American bombs were about to fall on her town. Some line that goes like ‘Life goes really well sometimes, and it is a surprise gift!’ . I could never utter all the words aforementioned in group because I have a speech deficiency. But that line from the movie does give me almost a tear. Why? 10 months of good mom before she disappeared? Some other good times I have had in life? Or just that life itself is the only gift no matter what, that you appreciate more the closer it comes to being gone forever.

    • Crystal says:

      Gosh this all seems so sad!! I had no idea you were going through this with the boys!
      After listening to you, a friend that is brutally honest said to me— “No one abuses you more than you abuse yourself”!! You sound as if you do this to yourself too, but I understand because there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel!!
      I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I sure hope it’s not more clouds!!

      I had talked to Barbara quite a bit back in 08 when my son had a psychotic episode! She tried to be helpful but I couldn’t see the forest fore the trees! I’ve never accepted how serious ADD can be and people seem to joke and use it as a joke! It’s no joke or laughing matter, because it can really debilitate you!! Here I am rattling on… i say this because I think I have trouble with people helping me because I’m going in so many directions until…I stop, Look and Listen!! It’s taken me 64 years to see this!! I don’t always do it, but learning to catch myself.

      My son, Matt, who is now 41 is going through another psychotic episode! He is in LosAngeles now in a hotel my daughter put him up in for 7 days after he had a horrific wreck in Malibu last Sunday night!
      I’ve learned that adult children can drain you of every ounce of energy and they are not bothered if they are not in reality! I’ve been down this road too many times with him and yes I could have been a better Mother, but what’s happened has and I cant change it, but I’m not letting it consume me this go around!! He can sound like the devil himself and his dad and my daughter abuse me, but I’ve taken a stand to not allow it!! I can cut him a little slack but I’m not tip toeing! I think this is a letter to myself!!

      Thank you for replying and your honesty. Tell Barbara hello please.


    rest your soul, gramma. you gave so much to keep us alive and i did care about you, for what it is worth now

  9. Margaret says:

    hi Crystal,
    yes, I remember you from several retreats at La Casa de Maria.
    how are you doing?
    nice to hear from you again here!

    • Crystal says:

      Hi Margaret-
      I was good when I first jumped on here! But you know Margaret I’m not doing good!!
      I’m trying to think the last retreat we were at together! I was last at a Thanksgiving retreat in 2016. Were you at that one?

  10. Phil says:

    Hi Crystal,
    Nice to see you on the blog. How are you doing?

    • Crystal says:

      Thank you for asking. Maybe save that question for September! That’s the month I’ve set my goal to have everything in order! Ha!

  11. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i used to be young like this kid. what a loss. a monumental loss for me, since… R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World (Official Video) just sayin’

  12. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    bad news. i am writing my feelings on the work chat on the computer to the right of this one. that is my work-from-home computer. some slightly difficult computer issue that i had no desire to fix and was obviously reminding me that i am the world’s worst father, not to mention just in-general the biggest pile of shit on the planet (which i probably learned from different parental figures in my childhood). and i have cried about that before, but i am at home, the walls are too thin for me to feel comfortable to cry, barb seems to have abandoned primal sometime ago and i was not comfortable crying in front of her even when she did follow this mantra ; the immigrants on either side of our house maybe feel comfortable about crying about their losses, but i don’t. scorpio–cancer new or full moonish mix. a good time for freely flowing rivers of tears, even in drought-stricken california

  13. Not true Barry! You are a great gift giver ! Gretch

  14. Barry M says:

    Never was so much caring owed by so many to so few. – Just sayin!! Barry

  15. Daniel says:

    Thanks for your elucidation (back at the previous page) of how your ideas and fields of interest have developed over the years. Knowing where you’re coming from makes it easier to understand and empathise with you. Contrary to your fear, I have no intention, nor inclination nor the power, to exclude you from anything, especially not from my “world of primal travellers”. Why would you think that?

    • Renee says:

      I’m glad that you can understand and empathize with where I’m coming from, even if you disagree with me. Why would I think you want to exclude me? Actually, upon reflection, I made a mistake by saying that. I think you want me here so that you can use me as your punching bag when I trigger you. It sucks when this happens. Reminds me too much of my brother……the work of healing sometimes seems never-ending.

  16. Margaret says:

    I seem to remember the last retreats I was in, were summer retreats.
    I haven’t been to one for several years now, and am not good at all in keeping track of time and dates, but probably our last last retreat together was a summer retreat.

  17. Daniel says:

    No, white Americans don’t have to worry they could get killed like unarmed Ahmaud Arbery, Breona Taylor, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin or George Floyd.

    However, they might be slightly concerned they could get killed just like white and unarmed Timothy Smith (running from police officers, shirtless and wearing a pair of shorts), William Lemon (suspected robber, failed to show his hands upon request), Ryan Bolinger (walked toward a policewoman’s car. She wrongly assumed he had a gun), Daniel Elrod (allegedly failed to show his hands upon request), Ralph Willis (mistakenly thought to be drawing a weapon), David Kasich (shot twice in the back), Six year old Jeremy Martis (sat in a car with his father), Autoumn Steele (shot by a policeman responding to a domestic-disturbance call), Derek Cruice (shot in the face during a marijuana raid), Tony Timpa (practically identical to the killing of George Floyd), or Daniel Shaver (a pest control specialist on a business trip).

    I know the current identitarian groupthink flooding America mandates believing that there is a racial bias in deadly police shootings. After all we’ve seen the footage. But although I looked, I couldn’t get decent, rigorously researched data showing it to be true. Whatever data I did find pointed to the contrary. My conclusion is it’s part of the current shift, much aided by social media, from reality to aesthetics. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, what matters is the optics.

    • Renee says:

      What matters are the facts, not one’s preferred optics. Those darn inconvenient facts.
      If only these facts could change based on one’s subjectivity:(

      U.S. facts—
      “Using information from a national database compiled and maintained by The Washington Post, researchers found that victims identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), whether armed or unarmed, had significantly higher death rates compared with whites. And those numbers remained relatively unchanged from 2015 to May 2020. The report appears in the Oct. 27 edition of the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health.
      In an analysis of 4,653 fatal shootings for which information about both race and age were available, the researchers found a small but statistically significant decline in white deaths (about 1%) but no significant change in deaths for BIPOC. There were 5,367 fatal police shootings during that five-year period, according to the Post’s database. In the case of armed victims, Native Americans were killed by police at a rate three times that of white people (77 total killed). Black people were killed at 2.6 times the rate of white people (1,265 total killed); and Hispanics were killed at nearly 1.3 times the rate of white people (889 total killed). Among unarmed victims, Black people were killed at three times the rate (218 total killed), and Hispanics at 1.45 times the rate of white people (146 total killed).”

      Canadian facts—
      “Black and Indigenous Canadians are disproportionately represented amongst those fatalities resulting from encounters with police compared to the overall population. Indigenous people account for 16% of the deaths, but only make up 4.21% of the population. Black Canadians who died after police used force account for 8.63% and only make up 2.92% of the population in Canada.”

      U.K. facts—
      “Police are five times more likely to use force against Black people than White people.
      They used force tactics 614,660 times in 2018/19 where the ethnicity of the person is known – including tactics such as handcuffing, other restraint, use of batons, irritant sprays, tasers and firearms.
      Of those, 447,337 tactics were used against White people, and 94,222 against Black people – a rate of 90 times per 10,000 White people and 450 times per 10,000 Black people.
      In particular, police were 11 times more likely to use firearms (including cases where they were not fired), eight times more likely to use batons and six times more likely to use handcuffs on Black people.”

      We have to stop that identitarian groupthink from flooding America (not to mention Canada and the U.K) and mandating that we believe that there is a racial bias in deadly police shootings! Identitarian groupthink is the real problem!

      • superstarguru says:

        Your chance in your lifetime of being killed in a car crash is 1 in 110. This is about ten times the 1 in 1,000 probability of someone in the highest-risk demographic, black males, being killed by police in his lifetime.
        Also I’m curious to know why Asians were excluded from these police studies you mentioned?

  18. Crystal, I am so sorry you are going through this. I do think action must be taken to get him to a hospital. Burns that serious can easily become infected. It’s very, very serious. Please keep us posted . Gretchen

  19. Crystal says:

    Thank you Gretchen. It seems my only resort is to call 911 and the hospital said to tell them he might become violent.

    • superstarguru says:

      Hi Crystal, although I don’t know you personally, the minute you wrote the word “Arkansas” I suddenly had a vague memory of your being here on the blog for a while many years ago.
      I have a question for you:
      Are there any circumstances where you can have a calm discussion with your son at all?
      This seems to be a crucial first step to walking through the hell you seem to be experiencing.
      I appreciate what an incredibly rough and trying time you are having right now. I could feel the discouragement and helpless despair in what you wrote.

      • Crystal says:

        He has been very manic for the last 2 weeks. His tone of voice can change in a split second if not on his terms! My daughter said while here in person – he almost punched her a couple of times!! I have tried many ways such as going along with him! I’ll send photos of the mini Australian ShepherdI bought him in 2017 that he was never able to take care of! He loves her and will respond with- She’s so adorable😍- so I push it no farther than that!!
        He’s made 2 calls to me today— one was about the Cash App and wanting a code on there and I wasn’t quick enough so he yells “ignorant”- you can’t do anything!!!!!at the top of his lungs!
        The second call was about the homeless being removed from the beaches into homes and he had sat out to do what he wanted to do!
        So, no- Guru it’s difficult to have any conversation. I’m on pins and needles everytime his name pops up on phone!
        He’s controlling everyone right now!! He’s delusional at times and a lot of people do not notice until they speak with me.
        My daughter thinks he’s experiencing trauma from the wreck among other past ptsd!
        I don’t think he’s reachable right now.

        • superstarguru says:

          Crystal, the only feedback I can possibly offer in your fraught situation is a reminder that, although you can’t control how your son will act out, you can control how you want to respond to him now and in the future. I hope you can take some time to carefully consider how you want to communicate with him, either by being acquiescent or firm with him, in a way that works out the best for both yours’ and his mental wellbeing.
          Is your son aware of Primalling? If so, does he have an opinion about it? I wonder if this would be an avenue with which to draw a closer bond with him through mutual feeling exploration or buddying.
          I feel as though I am walking through a minefield with this post and I don’t want to give you potentially disastrous feedback, so I will stop here for now.

          • Phil says:

            Crystal, this all sounds very stressful and disturbing. I hope your son will start to listen to reason, so that his issues can be taken care of. I have two sons and I’m not sure what I would do in that situation. I can’t really imagine drawing any line, but nothing like that has happened. I hope things will improve.


  20. superstarguru says:

    Crystal, I read your latest post and I do wish you the best of luck with everything. I only want to add that, even though we can control our reactions to others, it’s not always EASY to control said reactions.
    A great case in point is the incredibly annoying, distressing, and harrowing predator neighbor I am completely surrounded by. What a silver-tongued snake oil sack of dogshit! I still become uncontrollably furious at the situation for at least a short while every day. Vicki suggested I have to extract myself from such volcanic fury one step, one thought, at a time.

  21. Phil says:

    Yesterday I had a lesson with a different saxophone instructor; something my wife set up as a birthday present. I was very nervous ahead of the online class, because this guy is a star band leader and alto saxophonist, and I’m still more or less a beginner.
    I’ve shared one of his performances below, we’ve seen him at our local club many times. His showmanship is also outstanding. Well, the lesson was fantastic, like 10 times better than my current teacher, although his price is higher. I was getting annoyed by my current teacher because he uses up too much of our half hour classes chatting, and he had me spending too much time warming up playing scales. Partly my fault too, for being lazy and not saying anything. The last time I saw him was especially bad, and I felt he was rude. I decided to suspend classes with him for June and July because I injured my throat/nose sax playing. While blowing on the sax, the throat has to be wide open, otherwise air can go the wrong way, which I think was happening. But I sometimes tend to tighten my throat, which seems to also be feeling related. It’s one of the ways I use to hold feelings in. I seem to be almost recovered this week, and hopefully will learn to avoid that problem.
    Anyway, it is a good opportunity to change music teachers and get a much better one, so I’m feeling very excited about it. I sent him an email this morning expressing my desire for ongoing classes. I don’t see myself becoming a performer, I’m just a big music fan, and it’s giving me a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction learning to play.

    • Barry M says:

      Wow Crystal, I’m so sorry for your troubles – as we Irish people say. You must not know what side is up right now. And you’re going to have everything in order by September???
      I would be seriously impressed by that! Although I guess it would mean you had a hell of a good therapist. 🙂

      • superstarguru says:

        (correction) not to mention all the screaming at me and jumping on my front porch

        • Barry M says:

          But he was smiling all the time, was he not?. Just ask him in for a pint, you’ll be lifelong pals in no time so you will. (Spoken with an adorable Irish lilt)

    • Barry M says:

      Nice music Phil. A great band.

  22. Daniel says:

    On first looks it might seem as if the third and last paragraph of my comment, however tentatively written, was what got you all worked up. After all that was the one, the only one, you chose to grapple with. But I actually think it was the second paragraph that did it, as it picked your unequivocally expressed assertion that, “We [white people] don’t have to worry that we could get killed [by the police]”, and showed that assertion to be false.

    I now regret writing that third paragraph because that wasn’t the point I was trying to make, and because it included the ingredients that made it easier to sidestep the issue.
    However, since you so triumphantly and decisively brought data-driven reports as if they completely and utterly supply a definite answer and close the case, I must explain why in my opinion they do nothing of the sort, why they are not what I called in my comment “decent, rigorously researched data”. In fact, they teach us close to nothing.

    The reason these reports are lacking is they are population-based (I will limit myself to the US report because that one was published in a journal). In other words, they compare the number of police fatal shootings for each race to that race’s proportion in the general population. If, say, black people represent 13% of the US population then any representation among those killed by police above 13% is, in such an approach, presented as proof of racial bias against them.

    That is a completely flawed, even misleading, metric. Such an overall population-based benchmark would be appropriate only if police randomly shot people to death. In such hypothetical random shootings it would stand to reason that if no bias existed, of those shot 73% would be white, 13% black, and 5.5% Asian, corresponding to their proportion in the general US population. If, on the other hand, it was found that, say, 30% of those shot were black it would then be, according to this approach, a real sign of racial bias.

    However, the police do not shoot at random. Shootings are a function of police activities, their encounters with civilians.

    To make it even clearer let me give another example, now using real data from the same data set the US report you linked to used – the victims of police fatal shootings by gender:

    A population-based approach, the same one used in that report to show racial bias, would require that since women comprise about 50% of the population, they should also represent around 50% of those fatally shot. It could then go on to claim that since men are over-represented and women under-represented, it means that the police is a highly sexist organisation, perhaps operating in an extreme man-hating, matriarch society.

    But of course, this isn’t the case and the above conclusion – that the police are a sexist, men-hating organisation – is very poor social science. It is likely that the reasons for men’s over-representation among those fatally shot are that variables other than gender bias are involved. For example, the police have more encounters with men as men are more involved in crime (the variable: number of encounters by gender), and in their encounters, men on average are more aggressive than women (variable: the type of encounter). In research terms, the researcher using a population-based benchmark is failing at the most important first step: he or she is not isolating the variable studied – in our case a bias – and the results he or she is getting are highly likely to include confounding variables which distort the picture.

    A high-quality research would correct for those confounding variables by taking into account at least the two variables I mentioned (number and quality of encounters with the police). For example, if blacks represent 13% of the population but 30% of the encounters the police have, it would change the picture accordingly and give a better explanation of their over-representation among those fatally shot.

    Such studies are rarer, mostly because the datasets used are not as robust and detailed as one would hope. My guess is that because of the public interest in the near future that will change, and future studies will be more accurate and telling. It is worth mentioning that those rarer studies did find in some data sets anti-black bias in non-lethal use of force.

    As for me, if future good studies will show a racial bias in police killings I will readily accept that as true. So far, as I wrote in my previous comment, that has not been the case.

    • Renee says:

      Daniel, you’re a genius! I don’t know why I never recognized this about you before. Of course, there is no bias in who the police are targeting, brutalizing and killing. There are only people who don’t know how to analyze data accurately! So, they’re coming up with the wrong facts. I hope you’re considering educating the public about this problem, including the editors of Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health. Many of us white folk don’t appreciate this bad, indecent and not rigorous kind of research that suggests there could be problems with our wonderful institutions and systems.

      • Daniel says:

        I spend time and effort looking into and then showing an unwarranted claim is false, going into specifics, supplying actual instances and names. In return I get an angry personal attack.

        I do my best to explain why I think something, using examples and rationale that I am at pains to make clear. In return I get a cynical diatribe without any argumentation.

  23. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    finally a little down time, listen to prince, bach, watch clips of young frank. had a scare that the cat was not going to poop again but she laid out a big one tonight, the old white cat has perked up from a down trend, kid has what seems to be a good lawyer, and even though cats and kid took all my money i found out i can get some money out of my 401k even though i am not yet retired. replenish the credit card coffers, get barb some teeth and eyes and whatever else. terribly busy week of work but maybe repugs are falling finally, at least rudy might be. ha! tomorrow i will pay the price for feeling hopeful.

  24. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    yeah those low tones of the cello speak to my tears. hope maybe but jesus fing christ, i am still fucking dying. some day. permanently.

  25. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    crystal, my kid was bonkers 2 months ago. today a total turnaround. knock on wood. covid year made the world nuts and still does. maybe his wife really was toxic. he is better off without her. but the kids, the poor young kids went through a bit of bad time.

    • Crystal says:

      It’s really stressful going through problems with our sons. Did your son reach out for help on his own? Or did you have to force it!

      Matt is way more bonkers tonight!! Left a message on my phone screaming at the top of his lungs!!!Then calls my daughter and says he’s getting his car tomorrow and driving it out of the wrecking yard!! He said he’s also going to the hotel in Santa Monica and beat the crap out of the guy that caused his legs to be burned!!
      So Rachael is calling the Mental Health Crisis Line! At this point we have to take action before he hurts someone!!
      He can talk so normal and go to violent in a couple of hours!!

  26. Crystal says:

    I am so glad your son is doing better and stable again.

  27. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Crystal, my son’s wife reached out for help to us, when Alex was being a maniac asshole to her, which ended up with him destroying stuff in their apartment and moving to ohio for 2 months, and coming back and still being stupid or willful enough to get a restraining order filed against him. yes, we should have tried to do more before the situation played out on its own. like i said, he almost sounds normal now

    • Crystal says:

      Otto- in listening to you, I’m really scared and feel like a really bad parent. I’ve let this play out too long. Thursday or Friday was the last day of his week long provided hotel room by my daughter and her husband.
      I don’t know what I was thinking about how he could survive leaving Extended Stay at LAX
      With no money or anything. He has not called anyone. Phone is off since I last talked to him noonish on Friday. I called the place where car was towed and he has not called them
      Or showed up because that was on his list.
      My fear is that he will hurt someone or someone hurt him! We think his burns may be infected because that was a very sore spot with him if you asked for photos.
      I can only hope he is safe in a hospital and does not want his family contacted.

  28. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    anyway, just wanted to say a little bit about group today. i fucking hate group, nothing new there. i don’t ever expect to feel good after group anymore. i came to group today to see what was going on with people. group reminds me of my early life where i felt like i was getting nothing. it pisses me off that i went to group today but at least i got the cat litter and other crap swept up in my room. it is hard for me to say that it feels unfair that i never get to say anything in group. that is nothing new, and never going to change. the same people talk every time, no matter what, and i don’t. nobody’s fault but mine. i did not want to say anything anyway, except i hate hearing about people who have had a heart attack, because i am in that line, and i know how it comes so quickly and out of the blue. it might have made all the difference in the world to express that in group, but i didnt really give a shit about saying it. same people always talking. i had to stop caring about expressing myself early on, with my grandmother always doing the talking, or mu uncle with his murderous sould making me hide in fear of him noticing me.

  29. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    furthermore, i hated hearing about people who own houses or apartments and have the money to get them fixed up. we have nothing, nothing. except 2 grownup kid/adults whose travails give us reason to live, i guess. anyway take a nap. another fine weekend with the only good thing being i did not have to work. too hot to fix up any decay in the house, except for taking out the trash, sweeping my floor, feed the birds and squirrels and outside cats, and hope that the dry backyard does not erupt in flames on the 4th, because the weed whacker i bought 2 years ago was impossible to put together. i should count my blessings. if i go before barb, i hope my ashes are scattered sooner rather than later. i do remember groups a long time ago where i had the 15 minutes of talking with Terry. not sure why that is sticking in my mind.

  30. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    OK, I admit it, i get a lot out of group even tho it usually pisses me off to remain silent. so thanks for the p.i. and the therapy. it does help

  31. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i do my breathing now. aqmd says it is unhealthy to breathe later today in the valley. interestingly, palm springs will be unhealthy later today, but just for sensitive groups. even santa monica not so great. the computer job i have is killing the planet. ouch

  32. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    CRYSTAL, MAYBE THEY GOT SOME SUPPORT GROUPS ON THE INTERNET, MORE FINELY ATTUNED TO THIS SUBJECT. (i forgot to take caps off) i take ant-depressants, so the guilt is not too crippling. my oldest was in the hospital monday with a ruptured disk. did he get it years ago when he was snowboarding and i wasnt a diligent father to teach him to be more careful? he was already on drugs ande hospital pain-killers made it worse. who the f knows. sounds like your pain is way up there. you can go to alanon and maybe listen to other people with sick family members would help. aa and alanon helped barbara. we went the route of not bailing the kids out of jail, which eventually led to them both going into rehab and sober living. although jail in some states should be considered murderous.

  33. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i only got on the blog right now to say that it occurred to me that maybe i didn’t force the issue when my grandma ignored me so much when i was a kid. i realize now i kept myself hidden as a result of the care of a murderous uncle early on. i did the children-should-not-be-seen-heard-or-any-other-signs-of-life theory to escape his murderous rage. then i carried that way of being with me when under my grandma’s care. some little kids will make sure they get noticed if they are ignored. not me. i thought of this while not looking at barbara and saying hi sweetheart, doing ok, as i passed by her room. well she might have had a similar early life and does not care if i am so-not-there, or she has learned to live with my pain. 40 plus years of ships passing in the night.

  34. superstarguru says:

    This is not a high-priority item, though I would place it in a “nice to know” category. Can any music enthusiasts please tell me the name of this instrumental song in the background of the 20-second clip below? It sounds like some sort of beautiful Japanese-style geisha song, though I could be way off the mark. The yellow pee bottle experiment is irrelevant to my question.

    I tried using a microphone and played it for the music search feature of but still no luck.

    • Daniel says:

      Maybe Ink Pavillion. It’s Chinese.

      Here’s an MP3 download.

      • Sylvia says:

        Daniel, that really sounds like it, with the same drum-like accompaniment.

      • superstarguru says:

        That’s a pretty good catch, Daniel. I didn’t hear the exact sequence of notes matching the earlier science clip, but you’re certainly ‘getting warm’!
        As I said earlier, this isn’t a high-priority item and I hope I didn’t make you and Sylvia feel compelled put in too much effort over this.
        Glad I had a couple folks interested in helping out, though.

        • superstarguru says:

          As an aside, the high-priority items involve work that feels massively unpleasant for me to finish. I keep throwing constant diversions in front of me away from the work, and I’m really irritated at how uncooperative I’ve been to myself.

          • superstarguru says:

            I’ve tried all the handy tricks…
            –“Only work on a little bit at a time”
            –“Ride the terrible feeling while you work on it, knowing its separate from the actual physical activity”

            It’s a foreboding, impenetrable, and soul-pulverizing black cloud of deeply intellectual fuzz.

        • Daniel says:

          Guru, Start at 0:37 seconds in the clip and you’ll hear the exact same sequence of notes. What is it you’re working on?

          • superstarguru says:

            Damn, Daniel, you’re right! Impressive. It’s hard for me to pick out notes like that.
            As for the work involved (and, yes, there is an eventual endpoint to the project with only maintenance thereafter)….We’ve reached a point where I would need to talk to you off the blog for something like that.

  35. Sylvia says:

    This song sounds like it to me on You tube:

    • superstarguru says:

      Sylvia, you must be auditorily picking up something I’m not, for neither of the two videos you posted (and I fully listened to) sound remotely close to the ‘mystery melody’ as heard from my limited ears.
      I’m terrible at trying to discern if the same song is cross-playing on a wholly different instrument, so that might play a significant role.
      I was only taking a wild guess at the song having Oriental roots.
      Your swift and valiant efforts are appreciated, though, thanks.

        • Sylvia says:

          I don’t know if I’m really hearing this right, if it matches the science experiment song, though it is hard to pick 23 seconds out of a 3 minute song to verify it. Beginning at the 2:03 mark it sounds something like the other song. Pretty and feeling-ful melody, anyways, which is what counts, I think and must have drawn you to it.

          • superstarguru says:

            Sylvia, I hate to be a Debbie Downer given all your efforts, but I’m still not noting any similarities aside from the instrument itself, the piano. It’s true that I may have been drawn to this as my mother was a fairly serious piano player. A few stacks of piano sheet music and books along with her old piano I still have in storage with many keys broken from my senseless childhood hammerings.

            • superstarguru says:

              Don’t read too much into my mom playing the piano, as it was nothing out of the ordinary during the 1970’s. Almost 250,000 upright pianos were sold each year back then with only HALF of the current US population. Now upright piano sales are less than 30,000 units per year.
              It’s sadly a bit of a relic, a relic of times past as when Archie and Edith Bunker played the piano during the beginning of every “All in the Family” episode from the 1970’s. (Yes, I’m recalling Chris’ recent mentioning of the old classic TV show.)

              • Sylvia says:

                All is not lost, Guru, the piano instrumental triggered some memories of un-asked-for 6
                years of lessons, simply because my 5 yr. old self wanted to learn how to play: “Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail” on a piano. Before I knew it we had a baby grand piano in the living room to pay off and weekly music lessons. I never had the courage to ask my mom if I could stop lessons because I didn’t have a good aptitude like some for learning music. I envied my friend who told her mom she didn’t want to take lessons after a couple of yrs. I remember standing behind my mom in the bathroom while she fixed her hair at the mirror trying to tell her I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t, she was too intimidating.

                I have a used spinet Mom bought 30 yrs ago that I “play at” once in a while, though I’m not very good, it’s for my own entertainment and the cats like to hear some notes and to run across the keyboard. Hah.

                • Vicki says:

                  Sylvia, my , and story is that at 5 yrs. old I used to “play with” a piano at my aunt’s house occasionally, and (rarely) at the woman’s across the street, and I wanted to learn to play. But I knew it wasn’t possible, and definitely no one encouraged me. Then at 9 yrs. old my mom tried to get me to take ballet lessons, as she had once been a dancer, before an auto accident ended her career, and almost took her leg. However, I felt like a total klutz, and did not want to take dance lessons, and I told her. She argued, telling me that with lessons, I would become more graceful, and not have so many problems, but I did not believe that, imagining only embarrassing failure, and she finally gave up arguing.

                  But thinking about it, later I told her I wanted piano lessons, and she just trashed the idea, no sympathy at all. She said we could not afford piano, but I reminded her that she said she wanted me to take ballet class — and then she got more angry, and told me it would be a waste of time, and she was not going to spend money on any stupid piano lessons, but she would pay for ballet class, if I would do it. I was angry, knowing she was dishonest about the money, and just trying to control my life and not caring how I felt (none of which I could say). So that was a stand-off, and “we” did nothing — no piano, no dance, nor anything else.

                  • Sylvia says:

                    Vicki, it seems your mom wanted you to live parts of her life, doing something she wanted to do, not what would make you happy. They didn’t listen to us. At least you fought back in some way by questioning the money that was there for the lessons you didn’t want.

                    I had ballet and tap lessons for a couple of months when I was 4 yrs. to bring me out of my shyness. “You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around” up on a stage with a skimpy leotard. All I knew is that I felt half naked and would throw up at home before going to the lesson. I was a nervous self-conscious little kid.

            • Vicki says:

              Guru, all 4 clips of video DO contain the same sequence of notes that plays in the background of your initial 20-second clip.

              • superstarguru says:

                Vicki, they are all different songs (except the two versions with different instruments posted by Sylvia), aren’t they? I’ll take your word for it, though. Daniel’s song seemed to mirror the original science clip the closest, at least to me.

                • Vicki says:

                  Yeah, regardless that they are all “different”, the brief specific melody is present in all of them, as well as some other piece elements that make them seem seem similar, but I have not spent more time with those other parts, to analyze if they are really related, or not. But when I listened to them, I could immediately hear where the melody reappeared, in each case at or shortly after the 0:37 seconds mark.

  36. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    GIRL SINGS GOOD. GOOD GOD. Miley Cyrus – Man Of Constant Sorrow (George Clooney Tribute) WOW.

  37. Renee says:

    Crystal, I actually wasn’t thinking about your other son. I think Matt is good son. It does seem to me that he is right there for you, and possibly other family members, when needed. And that it could be very helpful to let him know how much you love and appreciate him. From what you have said, it sounds to me like Matt is stuck in the thankless role of the kid who acts out the pain in the family. Considering his level of destructiveness and self-destructiveness, I can only imagine the enormity of that pain. While your coping strategies of alternating between feeling detached and feeling desperate are totally understandable (in fact I have those exact feelings when I hear what you are going through), these feelings are still in reaction to Matt and, therefore, externally focused. I’m guessing that a good chunk of what he is acting out is the anger in the family. Which leaves me wondering how your anger, and his dads anger, comes out. Just a thought.

    • Crystal says:

      Yes Renee you are correct in that Matt is acting out the anger in the family! He told us once to watch the movie- “Into The Wild”!!
      He is my good son and would do anything to help me!! In fact, I’ve missed him in so many ways not being around to help out!! I’m glad you pointed this out!!
      It grieves me to see his pain runs so deep that he just wants to disappear!! All the same when a person is suicidal! Doesn’t mean they’re crazy!! Just means that their pain runs so deep….they want to just check out!
      Matt seems to punish himself by stripping himself of everything, certainly as he has done now!!
      No food; no money, no shelter and no transportation!!
      Thank you Renee for giving me this insight!

      • superstarguru says:

        Crystal, I have to interject myself into this conversation to note that I can definitely relate to Matt wanting to strip himself of all societal and/or civilizational trappings. There’s so much complex bullshit garbage serving the selfishly narrow needs of total strangers in the regular world which seems completely unnecessary, yet still places untenable demands on my psyche. Since I am only one person and too powerless to have those items disappear altogether, my helpless anger wants to simply strip myself of it and run away (eg. ‘”into the Wild”)..
        It’s certainly very seductive to simply want to ‘check out’ from all that.

      • Renee says:

        Crystal, I get the sense that Matt’s behavior is tearing you apart inside and that you are beating yourself up for being a bad parent. If this is the case, then this is for you: I posted this before, so you could’ve already seen it. Thankfully, I don’t think it loses its power with more views. By the way, I believe this “Parenting Manifesto” is appropriate for parenting kids of any age. I hope it helps you ease up on being so harsh toward yourself.

        • Crystal says:

          Yes Renee I’ve been doing just that!! I’m very worried more so than ever! I’ve not heard from Matt since he borrowed a phone Tues night. He has no money and apparently no phone now!
          I will click on the link you sent! Thank you Renee

  38. superstarguru says:

    I write this with an apology to Sylvia for not directly responding to all the pressure her mother put on her to play the piano. I understand all too well the fear of consequences for saying something a bully may not like. My predator neighbor is an excellent case in point after the porch jumping incident.
    I write this post now to only to drop a small note before I forget. I grieve often about my dad and how he was such a humble mathematical teddy bear. I long knew he was a Life Master at the card game of bridge, yet I only found out fairly recently from my cousin after dad died that he played against actor and world-renowned bridge columnist Omar Sharif on a couple of occasions. It hurts me that I never knew this and never had the chance to just…sit down for a playfully enjoyable conversation about it with me. Yet another testament to how humble to a self-deprecating fault dad really was.

    • superstarguru says:

      Also, I should mention that dad’s bridge playing was a relic of a long-ago past for him, from the 1960’s-1970’s when he was a young man. He cast it all aside fairly early and moved on to other things. Much the same as what I explained to Sylvia about upright pianos.
      I know NOTHING about bridge, or for that matter the two sports he loved, NFL football and college/pro basketball. Those two items didn’t interest me at all, yet this chasm didn’t preclude me from finding plenty of other ways to bond with him.

  39. Daniel says:

    True, it is the American Day of Independence. Best wishes to all you Americans. But today, July 4th 1187, the forces of Salah ad-Din (or Saladin) won a decisive victory in the battle of the Horns of Hattin, just outside present day Tiberias, bringing the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem to an end and reinstating the Muslims military eminence in the holy land.

    It is said that what prompted Salah ad-Din to this battle was the colourful but thuggish character of one Raynald de Châtillon, a French nobleman who arrived at Jerusalem with the second crusade. Being the blood-thirsty, booty-hunter troublemaker he was, Raynald obeyed no rule nor truce. After he attacked during one of these truces a Muslim caravan, and not for the first time, Salah ad-Din who already hated Raynald’s guts swore to kill him.

    At the Battle of the Horns of Hattin he got his chance. Raynald was among the captured, along with Guy de Lusignan the King of Jerusalem. The two were taken to Salah ad-Din’s tent where he spared the King’s life, much to the King’s surprise, but personally beheaded Raynald de Châtillon with a single blow of his sword.

    Salah ad-Din is probably the most revered sultan and military figure in Muslim history. He was born in Tikrit, the capital of the Salah ad-Din governorate in Iraq which is named after him. Many around the present-day Middle East saw and see themselves as modern-day Salah ad-Din. Saddam Hussein was one, being born in that province. The peacockish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey is another. Not to mention the ordinary assortment of glorified terrorists who decorate the region.

    Here’s a coin, found in that battlefield, bearing Salah ad-Din’s name.

    • superstarguru says:

      Interesting coincidence you brought up that coin, Daniel, for I was studying the world’s oldest coinage (as a diversion from my nightmarish project, of course) just last week. They were tiny electrum (gold and silver alloy) coins minted around 600 BC in the kingdom of Lydia situated on what is now western Turkey.
      Credit card cash advances were non-existent at the time.

      • Daniel says:

        I wonder if the Lydians had a Jack of their own, urging them not to get into this money business, that it would wind up in war, famine, and credit-card cash advances.

        • superstarguru says:

          Maybe we could start a hippie commune deeply rooted in nature called the “600 B.C. Club” where the use of money is strictly forbidden?

          • superstarguru says:

            Pretty fascinating how humans went 130,000 years without money (though barter likely was important) and yet it only began to play a prominent role during the last 2,600 years.

          • Daniel says:

            We all had at one time or another the phantasy that a state of deprivation can be eliminated by abolishing things.

    • Vicki says:

      Interesting, Daniel. It sounds like the real war between “Christian” and “Muslim” cultures goes back far deeper into history than I’m usually aware of. Likely I learned some of it long ago, but had forgotten. It makes me feel it is not so easy to know where to cast blame for arrogance and poor communications. Thanks.

      • Daniel says:

        Oh yeah, Vicki, to this day the western presence in the Muslim world is likened to the crusaders. Bin Laden, For example, had the American presence in Saudi Arabia as one of the major reasons for 9/11, explicitly proclaiming them to be Crusaders, filled with Crusader hate for Muslims, and demanding they leave.

        The first crusade was particularly gruesome. On their way to “free” Jerusalem from the Muslims they massacred whole Jewish communities along the Rhine in Europe (there are horrifying reports of those massacres, for example in Mainz), and then after besieging and sacking Nicea, Antioch, Constantinople, and finally Jerusalem, they slaughtered their Muslim and Jewish populations. Some put the death toll at 1 million, a huge number. Their most atrocious, and inexplicable, act came around the siege of Ma’arra (present-day Syria) where they actually ate from the flesh of their enemy.

        For the Muslims, the conquest of Jerusalem by those people was a disgraceful humiliation only undone by Salah ad-Din’s retake. They would like to repeat it. Although to begin with they formed their Islamic Jerusalem in spaces already sacred to Jews and Christians, for them western presence in the holy land is unacceptable altogether. This is true especially for those who are governed by Islam, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood organisations all over the Middle East. Of course they have no problems whatsoever with their own conquests. In fact, as recent as 2015 the Turkish Foreign Minister declared in Switzerland that, “Islam is Europe’s indigenous religion”.

        • FRED says:

          You mention Osama bin Laden. Didn’t the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto state on record that bin Laden croaked (I think) in 2003, from kidney failure brought on by diabetes?

          Was she assassinated for telling the truth, do you think?

          Just for the sake of argument, assuming Ms. Bhutto was correct then exactly WHO was killed, if not bin Laden, by American special forces in May 2011? Some poor body double who didn’t know his life had an expiration date?

          Just for the sake of argument, if it really WAS bin Laden, why would his body be dumped at sea? If the “government” wanted to squelch any possible future conspiracy theories, then this would be precisely the WRONG thing to do. It would only fuel such conspiracies.

    • superstarguru says:

      I should have asked this earlier: Would Raynald the Frenchman be indirectly responsible for the temple mount being taken over by Muslims? If Saladin hadn’t been so angry at Raynald he wouldn’t have gone to battle for Jerusalem?
      It would be quite a story if a swarthy, miscreant Frenchman was the root cause of most Jews not being allowed on the mount nearly a thousand years later. Butterfly effect personified.

      • Daniel says:

        Guru, the temple mount was already taken by Muslims some 300 years before Raynald came on the scene. And before them by the Romans who turned into Christian Byzantines.

        Saladin headed an empire in the region, ruled by the Ayyubid dynasty, and most likely would have taken Jerusalem sooner or later, by war or agreement. He was very bright, apparently had good strategic thinking, and his rule wasn’t too oppressive by medieval standards.

        But perhaps Raynald hastened the process.

        • superstarguru says:

          Well, I’m glad you corrected my Raynald hypothesis before the mistake was carried too far, thank you.

  40. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    “it’s just starting!” that is what i just emphasised to barb, and it’s what i feel like yelling at the top of my lungs out the bathroom window. but she doesn’t approve of primal noise and probably the neighborhood-full of latinos also dont approve of. even though they had the neighborhood sounding like a war-zone with their fireworks last night.

  41. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    “it’s just starting'” is what i told barb about why i was being pissy and hateful or indifferent around her all weekend. it is actually not just starting, it has been since wednesday when my oldest son called moaning that he could not stand the 10-pain of his ruptured disk. we got lucky and found the on-call doctor who was smart and kind and smoothed the way to get him into the e.r. (where they did nothing for him earlier in the week) and finally he got admitted to the hospital and now has barely enough pain-killer to keep him out of the deepest pain.

  42. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    then he just called to say that he had still not seen a doctor or neurosurgeon since he got there last night but the nurse had come in to get him to sign a consent form for some unknown surgery. anyway barb and i have been advocating for him on the phone as good as possible, his wife is being good too and now is going to see what the nurse has to say. ah whatever, i got 3 piles of dried out weeds put in a trash can this morning before it got to be 90, and all the other chores i had been hoping to take care of this holiday weekend are put on hold. we had a quick lunch with our youngest son yesterday, at a mexican mexican restaurant and i swear it was the worst mexican food i ever ate. we will not let him pick the restaurant ever again. back to watching chapelle and wolves licking people heads and whatever else is relaxing on youtube. tomorrow another week will likely be like last week for my job. inputting new interns into the hospital database. they all showed up at once. hectic and draining. but a sure-fire old-pain-killer along with shoving carbs down my throat.

  43. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    the cats are fed, the squirrel and birds are fed, the bugs are fed. the constipation cat probably pooped yesterday. barb and i still have our marbles, or at least i don’t think i have lost mine yet. we got the notarized form faxed to take money out of my retirement account to help pay for the youngest son’s lawyer for restraining order and divorce fight and moving in to his own apartment, and i am thinking this is just “a wonderful life” and i would miss it when i am dead and gone, if i believed in life after death but i no longer do. what a ride.

    • superstarguru says:

      Otto, I remember a long time ago I was in big group one night when Vivian herself was supervising. I angrily yelled at her, “I hope Art’s wrong about his belief that there is no life after death.”
      She tried to softly reply, “Believe what you want to believe..”
      I gathered the sense from her that she didn’t care what we believed (or WANT to believe), just as Art had said for himself on his old blog. I still had the sense that, if a belief in an afterlife is suitable for the smooth functioning of my organic system regardless of whether they think the idea of an afterlife is an utterly delusional belief, then that’s all that matters.
      Does anyone really WANT to believe there is nothing upon death? How the hell is the prospect of eternal oblivion something someone WANTS to believe in? Do such people crave sheer nihilism? Likely not, so when Vivian told me “believe what you want to believe” it struck me that she didn’t care whether I believed in Santa Claus, so long as it facilitates some sort of blissful psychobiological fluidity for me.
      If there is no afterlife, I suppose keeping track of billionaires dying off is a worthwhile hobby to have, so I can have minimal satisfaction knowing that those who have sucked so much goodness out of society with likely enormous negative externalities for others can suddenly be in much worse shape than I am, thus allowing me to gratefully reflect on the simple little life tidbits i still have remaining.

  44. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    kid going under knife in 5 mins. always in a hurry. good luck kid. pain begone. bitchass pain we are given, supposedly to keep us alive. ha.

  45. Barry M says:

    So Daniel, last week, a small town called Lytton which is a couple of hundred kilometers north of Vancouver B.C. where I live, reached the highest temperature EVER recorded in Canada –
    49.6 Celsius. We’re more used to 40 deg below zero – ask Larry! It made me think of your neck of the woods, how do you survive those temps? I was totally devoid of energy after about 8:00 am., and here it only went up to 45.2 deg. If this keeps up then in a couple of years our Uber Eats drivers will be riding camels. Maybe you and I should get into a dromedary import/export biz. Know any dealers?

    About an hour and a half after attaining it’s notoriety, 90% of Lytton burnt to the ground due to the brakes on a train over-heating and sparking a wildfire -oh the price of fame. This affected me personally and emotionally because in my Greyhound bus driving days, not that long ago, I used to drive to Lytton on my way to Prince George 2 or 3 times a week and knew the owners of the Lytton Hotel (our Bus stop) The hotel is now ashes.

    How can supposedly informed people – e.g. the former U.S. president – not only ignore scientific facts, but deny human responsibility for however Mother Nature decides to spank us for our transgressions. She’s just annoyed right now. When she really gets pissed, look out. Covid? – a mere inconvenience. Wait till she decides to add a nasty to the world’s water supply.

    Wars in the Middle East – yeah, whatever. World-wide recession that makes the Great Depression look like Mardi Gras – if she can be bothered. Prob’ly easier to just send another big-ass asteroid hurtling our way. – More effective and in no way racist.

    When humankind was advised to go forth and multiply, exponentially was not included in the order.

    Be kind to each other.

    • Daniel says:


      It’s nowhere near as hot over here right now as in Lytton, but still a bit hotter than most summers. The Lytton hellish temperatures culminating in it burning to the ground sounds biblical, frightening, and heart wrenching. Like you, I can’t make head nor tail of people’s opposition to the mere scientific consensus. I do understand some of the fears involved, and those must be addressed to be alleviated, but even if this consensus will turn out to be wrong, wouldn’t it make sense to err on the side of caution?

      Perhaps more spanking from Mother Nature are needed so more people will feel the cost.

      Barry, you’re not updated. A big-assed asteroid sent hurtling down our way is every bit as racist as the best of them. Everything is. Claiming an asteroid is coming our way involves math and science both of which are considered these days to be social constructs and therefore, by definition, downright racist. In the words of Robin diAngelo, “The question is not ‘Did racism take place?’ but ‘How did racism manifest in that situation?’ In other words, racism is like the speed of light, it is a given, the one thing that never changes no matter how you measure it.

      Perhaps more spanking from Robin diAngelo is needed too.

      Let me deliberate on your exotic and very practical import/export proposal. By the way, when I first came on the blog I wanted to be free to write as openly as I want to while keeping my privacy. The Google algorithm and all that. At first, I thought I would change my name but that felt a bit too impersonal. I then decided instead not to divulge where I live. It was for me a kind of compromise I can live with. It still is.

      • Barry M says:

        Hey Daniel,

        Please accept my apologies if you feel I have impinged on your locational privacy. I totally understand and respect your concerns. I never divulge my last name for the same reasons, even though in the occasional ‘senior’ moment I have included it. In my defense, Australia has had camels since the mid 19th century, so exactly where you reside should still be relatively unknown.

        By the way, my investors seem to have the same question, are your animals one-humpers or two? They feel that seat belts are less required if the latter.

        Wow, racist asteroids, who would have thunk it? The operative word here of course would be ‘claiming’. Ma Nature is a woman of few words, and would not, I believe, feel a need to warn us. However, assuming you and Robin are right, will you give me that a large-butted asteroid global smack down would eradicate racism, at least until a new cognizant being evolves in a few millennium?

        As an aside, it’s funny that you should quote Ms DiAngelo. MANY years ago when I was but a testosterone fuelled teenager, I lusted after a young woman who decided to leave Canada and marry a Mr. DiAngelo who lived in New York. I have refused to heed anything that someone with that same last name has said ever since. That’ll learn her! Being born in England, I especially ignore Italians after that Euro soccer game on Sunday!

        But at least, Phil, we got further than Spain!!!

        • Phil says:

          In the final I was rooting for Italy, and because I’m half Italian American, I can celebrate. Second place isn’t worth anything, but there’s always next time. Here in Spain no one seems to be devastated. Maybe because there’s always good jamón, chorizos, paella, and vino, and it’s sunny just about every day.

        • Daniel says:

          Well, Barry, the English team and especially its rampaging, disrespectful, booing, trash-mountains-leaving fans, some of whom didn’t forget to remind their own team’s players who missed penalty kicks their skin color, didn’t deserve to have football ‘coming home’.

          The Italians, on the other hand, played such wonderful football throughout the championship – fast and lively offensive, overcoming injuries even of their best players. They deserved to win the games (not to mention they wore much better suits to begin with).

          But there is a tragic note for English coach Southgate, who missed a crucial penalty kick many years ago, and like tragic figures before him while trying to correct it actually repeated it. One could say that unconsciously he sort of had a fantasy about his fantasy: the only way to get rid of having it is to actualise it.

          But, on a brighter English note – I’m reading Wolf Hall at the moment, thoroughly enjoying it.

          • Barry M says:

            Ouch! Whilst you may have a point or two about a few English football hooligans, Ok a few thousand, all right tens of thousands and though some in the English team are racist,
            (What, the Italians aren’t?), it doesn’t take away the happiness and excitement I felt as the English team made its way through the Euro 2000 tournament. The last time England won any significant International tournament I was 13 years old, and the last time they even made the Euro semifinals was in 1996, so yeah, I was with them all the way, even though I left England when I was 6.
            Do I think the better team won? Absolutely. In fact I picked Italy to win from the very start of the tournament, but England played well too apart from a few games early on. I was so happy when they beat Germany, and thought they were excellent against Danmark in the semis. As for the final, well obviously for the first 5 minutes it was the best game EVER, but as the game wore on you could tell it was just a matter of time.
            Deservedly or not, as you say, football didn’t ‘come home’, and it made me cry.

            • Daniel says:

              Hey Barry, didn’t mean to hurt. Guess I was overreacting to a news article I was reading about fan behaviour at the games. I also liked the English team throughout the games. They played better than they did in a very long time, with Walker, Maguire and Shaw probably the Euro’s best defenders, and Sterling doing very well too. Better luck next time.

              • Barry M says:

                Thanks Daniel. Yes, next time for sure? I just hope I live long enough to see them in the finals again. 🙂 Those darn penalty kick shootouts – is that how the saying ‘ the agony of
                de feet ‘ came about? Ooh, that was terrible!

  46. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    guru, thanks for your reflection. i guess it really doesn’t matter what death is, because it is inevitable. to me, nothingness seems like…i will be left out and alone again. but at least i won’t know it.

    my kid survived the knife and maybe this will fix his back pain for a while. of course, i felt or feel left out in this episode of life, even though i was the one who thought of calling his doctor’s answering service, which produced a kind lady doctor who smoothed the way for him to be admitted, instead of being shoved out of the e.r still with a pain more than i could ever imagine, like the first time he went there. then i kept telling him and his wife to call us when the surgeon came to his room, so we could advocate for him, which was the whole reason for him asking us to drop everything and fly to bumfuck, oh. anyway, better that i did not scream at any doctors prior to his surgery, like i did to barbara, when i felt she couldnt get herself in gear early on in this little journey. what a piece of work am i. lucky i take anti-d’s so i cant feel what a pile of garbage i became in this life. her big thing is her talking, which usually is good when aimed at the kids, but not always anything i need or desire. when barb and the kids talk on the phone, i am left out, even though i know i should be saying something encouraging, or showing that i care about them. well, like my retirement, thatis not going to happen. hard heart.

  47. David says:

    Found the key to the kingdom; Page 6, Gretchen…. (:

  48. Phil says: The view from where we’re staying for a few days in Spain.

  49. Phil says:

    Crystal, I’m glad your son has been found and is now in the hospital. That must be a big relief.

  50. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    well, everybody gets helped but me. even if help was promised. so screw this shit. been that way since i started this shit therapy so long ago. thanks. thanks a fucking lot. gfy

  51. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    need too much help. today and yesterday after group, mental status bad. either i had primal technique 101 applied to my brain, or i really am truly invisible. whatever, i will truly be gone soon enough. poor poor pitiful me.

  52. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    which came first, my pain of being not seen or of even existing? or the pain of witnessing severe dying in my early life, with no consolation about it, instead just joking. the second i wanted to share but i couldn’t, but at least there were happy stories shared that make me say “oh god, f’ me”

  53. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    I guess it is empowering to have the old “i am a piece of shit” feeling opened up wider, although not very pleasant. thanks. thanks a lot. well, i dont know when if, or how i will be crying about this. anyway– Thanks, thanks a lot, I’ve got a broken heart, that’s all I got.
    You made me cry, and I cried a lot.
    I just wanted your love, baby thanks a lot.
    ——–well that song actually brings up a sensation in my eye area , we shall have to see.

  54. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    yeah, that’s the ticket. only one tear but big as the ocean

    Martina McBride – Thanks A Lot

  55. Vicki says:

    (Trying this one more time, it was twice rejected by WordPress in the past few days).
    This was printed in the L.A. Times a few days ago. By Frank Shyong

    “A letter to my parents about depression and mental illness”

    Dear Mom and Dad, There’s a story that I need to tell, and I know that it’s one that my family should hear first. But every time I’ve tried to explain these last few years, I couldn’t. I wrote down the words and even rehearsed them, but when the time came they withered in my throat. So I’m writing this column as a letter to you. Even if I couldn’t tell you first, I wanted you to know that these words are for you.

    I’ve been living with depression for most of my adult life. It began with short bouts during college and gradually worsened after I graduated. About two years ago I began having thoughts of suicide, and in a moment of panic, I tried to hurt myself. It happened at a time when I had so much to celebrate. This column was launching and the podcast I created, “Asian Enough,” was entering production. But my self-esteem was caving in. I began to doubt that I was the protagonist in my own story. I felt an obligation to be happy and was ashamed I couldn’t meet it. I was posing in photos and videos to help promote the podcast when all I wanted was to disappear.

    My depression was too painful to write about or even admit to myself privately. But it was there, in the accumulated 7-Eleven taquito containers and cigarette butts on the floor of my car; in the slow erosion of friendships; in smashed iPhones and dented desks.

    In my journals I see myself grasping for the words to describe it. In 2012, I wrote that depression is when the power of your despair equals the power of your will. Then it was like suffering a dislocation of the ego, or “a slow and spreading numbness.” In one entry I compared my body to an inconveniently large piece of carry-on luggage. Last year I felt like a video game with a broken controller — I mash the buttons but my character on the screen never moves.

    My therapist has since given me a better explanation. Everyone has a cup, and when it’s full, you have to take a break. If you don’t care for your mind, you start to cope in unhealthy, destructive ways. You overtax your relationships, battle exhaustion and your sense of normality crumbles.

    Over time, the neural pathways in your brain that cause depression, anxiety and anger become deep grooves, while those that lead toward positive emotions fade. Happiness becomes an arduous climb uphill; sadness, a steep and slippery slope.

    I worked very hard to hide my sadness from you. Before visits, I would get a fresh haircut, buy new clothes and go on a diet. I’d always drink a lot of coffee before coming over so that my smiles would be more believable. At the dinner table I’d speak loudly of my achievements and successes. My visits were always short because I couldn’t keep up the act for long. At work, I wrote articles about how Asian Americans are the least likely of all demographics to seek mental health services, but we experience some of the highest rates of suicide and depression. I appeared on panels and spoke about how harmful silence and cultural stigmas can be. I lobbied others to overcome their shame and share their stories with me. But I couldn’t help but feel like a hypocrite, because I feared that stigma too.

    Things got worse when the pandemic hit. I felt an overwhelming responsibility to meet the moment, but most days began with crying over my coffee. The isolation was an agonizing reminder of the friendships I had lost. I began to call out in my sleep. A few times a week, I’d explode awake in the middle of the night yelling and furious, or crying and despondent. I called a suicide help hotline so often that I felt guilty for taking up their time. For the last three months, I’ve been on medical leave to work on my mental health.

    I’m sorry you’re reading this in the newspaper. I know you might fear the consequences of sharing my struggles so publicly. But now, at 33, I no longer believe my depression is something to be ashamed of. And I made a promise to a woman I interviewed a few years ago for a story about mental illness. The piece was widely read and now it may be adapted into a film. When I caught up with her last year, she told me that my story had changed her life, but not in the way I intended. She had lost friends and alienated family members. Some of her relationships would never be the same. She let me tell her story, but I couldn’t protect her from its aftermath. So I did the only thing I could. She shared her family’s secrets with me, so I promised her I’d share mine.

    I hope you know that none of this is your fault, because there is no fault to be assigned. There is nothing wrong with the way you raised me, because there’s nothing wrong with me. I may be depressed, but I am still your son, and I will be OK.

    Mom, remember last year, when Ah Mah died, I wrote a tribute to her and posted it on social media. I was scared for you to see it, but then your friends sent it to you and you texted me. You asked for a copy because you wanted to share it with your family. You told me that I did good and that you were glad I posted it. At Ah Mah’s funeral, you translated my words into Chinese and read them aloud. You announced proudly to the whole family that the words had been written by your son, a Los Angeles Times journalist. I was a little embarrassed, but it meant so much to me that you wanted to share my words. In that moment, I believed we both understood that there is no shame in suffering, that there is no reason to suffer alone. And now I can truly say that I believe that too.

    • Sylvia says:

      Great post about depression, Vicki. About time we recognize depression as something to be seen and not hidden nor talked about.

  56. Sylvia says:

    O no, it’s back.

  57. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    just talking to myself. DONT READ IF YOU SQUEAMISH. someone hammering outside and triggers my mind. my mind wanders to a distant memory of some animal skin hanging nailed to an outside wall at my mean uncle’s house. i get this memory often enough. hopefully it wasnt a crucifixion. anyway, i have probably seen physical pain and dying enough in my life that no wonder i am afraid of dying. death is ok, but dying–wtf??? who thought that one up. i am so weird that i tell the weeds “sorry” when i cut them down. i have to cut the weeds or the electric meter reader guy will report my house as shabby.

    • David says:

      Thank you,, Otto. I can relate to this in so many ways. Whoa …. makes my gut hurt…

    • Daniel says:

      Otto, your comments are often painful and saddening. Is there anything in your past or present that you feel positive about, have fond memories of, enjoy, or find interest in?

    • superstarguru says:

      Otto, if we properly go through the entire chain of causation, it seems that the people who wrote the instructions (or perhaps city ordinance) for the meter reader guy to report shabby houses are the ones who should apologize to your weeds. If such ordinances are a standardized activity among America’s 30,000-40,000 municipalities, where should the originating apology come from beyond the local city level? I’m not sure…

      • superstarguru says:

        I once purposely let a weed grow to beyond my 6-foot adult height as an experiment just to see what it turned out to be. Ordinary household weeds allowed to flourish eventually become mullein plants with tall stalks of yellow kernels on top much like quinoa plants from the Andes. Pretty cool looking plants at full maturity, actually.

  58. Larry says:

    Margaret is your safety threatened by any of the flooding that is reported to be happening in Belgium as well as other parts of Europe?

  59. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    I don’t agree with the author’s meaning of the ‘unbearable lightness of being’; i always think of that phrase as meaning that you can go to the black in the snap of a finger, be you bacteria, dinosaur or people. but whatever. at least one of our kids is doing vastly better, actually maybe both, they will still need our help. or at least barb’s, but it is my belief that barb needs me to keep her going. she will blow thru the $500k life insurance in a month, if i die. and these frigging outside cats will come to the porch and look fot their daily bread and if i am not there, barb will have moved to i drive her to 2 places. bye

  60. Margaret, This flooding sounds horrendous. I hope you and your family are alright. Let us know how you are coping when you can. Gretch

  61. Phil says:

    when I am in group I often think about you and wonder how you feel.
    but I hesitate adressing you, that is, if exceptionally an opportunity rrises, some moment of silence…
    and if I am not stuck in some feeling of my own…
    but I do remember what you wrote here about wanting to be invisible as a kid, in order to be safe.
    so I imagine it is what you want to be safe, but it also hurts like hell.
    a painful catch 22.
    something resonates with me there.
    I desperately crave gentle attention while at the same time I feel I don’t deserve it and will be rejected for that matter .

  62. Margot says:

    Sent from my iPhone

    On Jul 17, 2021, at 11:13 AM, Margarete Meys wrote:

    thanks for asking!
    the affected area starts at about 100 miles from where I live, and the stories about what went on and goes on there are heartbreaking.
    sometimes also heartwarming, the ways in which people come to each others help.
    one man carried people on his shoulders up to a safer area every time he found someone needing rescue out of the flooded area.
    three young guys rescued an old lady by one clinbing up a water pipe to the top floor while the two others broke into the lower part of the house so they could bring the lady upstairs .
    sadly three people in a lifeboat of the firebrigade died when the boat turned upside down and they fell inbto the fast running stream, the firemen were fit enough to be rescued but the elderly people had already been carried away by the stream.
    and so many other stories of people on roofs and moms wading through breast high water with a baby above their head.
    houses having crumbled with only a cat litter box still dangling above the flood…
    my brother lives in an area downstream where he needs to be vigilant but the rain has stopped now which is a huge relief for everyone.
    also Iin Germany , parts of France and the Netherlands it is nighmarish how big the devastations are.

    how is the heat wave around your nick of the world?
    I have often thought about you as Saskatchewan and other familiar names were also mentioned several times in the news about the extremely high temperatures.
    with the Corona numbers rising again here it is all distressing.
    I had a blood check yesterday as I keep feeling very tired a lot of the time, and want to know if there is something I can do about it, for example if it is merely a lack of iron.
    take good care,

  63. Larry says:

    It’s good to hear from you Margaret. I’m glad you and your family are safe.

    The heat and lack of rain here and on the northern plains is unprecedented in anyone’s living memory. A farmer in the news said it’s unprecedented in the memory of the 3 generations that farmed the land he is now working. My brothers’ crops are dying from the heat and lack of rain. Thankfully in the spring my brothers took out crop insurance, so this year they won’t go bankrupt and have to sell their farms. But the heat, drought, and forest fires are scary symptoms of accelerating climate change. I hope that after this one there will be some years that aren’t so hot and dry, but as time goes by, there will be more years that are too hot and dry like this one is and few that are a more normal cooler and wetter.

    I’ve not known such a long stretch of no rain and such a long string of hot days. There are forest fires hundreds of miles north, west, and east of where I live. The days are full of smoke from the far away fires. I keep my windows closed and my air cleaners and air conditioners on in my condo. When I go outside I wear a mask to protect myself not so much from COVID but from breathing in the smoke.

    The one bad thing about being in a new and loving relationship is that it opens my eyes to how very little love or none that I got from my parents. It shatters my illusion that I was part of a healthy, normal loving family. The very hot weather, the withering and dying of farmers’ crops, the dearth of wildflowers on the native prairie, the scarcity of food for cattle and wild animals alike, unnerve me. I worry for the future of my nieces and nephews and their children as the stresses on society ratchet up with climate change. I feel scared and long deep in my soul for a memory of love, reassurance and safety in childhood to help bolster my courage now to face troubled times, but there is no such memory. I cry for my parents and want to go home, but have to face and feel that they were never there for me. I have to face that life has thrown me some very difficult curves, my parents were never there for me emotionally to help me through them, and that’s how my life will be until I die. I have to face that at far too young I had to deal with crises that were far too overwhelming for me to handle alone, but I was alone with them. I’m tapping into how frighteningly scared and alone I was, and how much as I tried to escape the feeling, I carried it with me always. The worsening ravages of climate change are a perfect foil for the fear and helplessness I felt in childhood in the face of circumstances to big and overwhelming for me to cope with alone, but I was alone with them, and they ruined my life.

    • Vicki says:

      Larry, I read something this week about climate change, so my response is to the first part of your post, instead of the last part. I believe I read this in the L.A. Times, or maybe The Atlantic, but don’t have it with me, so I’m reporting from memory.

      About 1862, Southern California was all big cattle ranches. Then there was flooding, and the entire Central Valley became a lake, and So.Cal. became “a mud pit”. In the green pastures that followed, millions of cattle thrived. Then drought set in for three years, and cattle were dying everywhere. It got so bad, that some rancher(s) drove their herd(s) off the San Pedro cliffs to kill them faster, and people touring up from down south reported that they could see carcasses everywhere, and for years after there were a lot of skulls lying around. The ranchers all went bankrupt and it ended cattle in So.Cal.

      After that, the land became available for tract homes, as we now have everywhere. So the article pointed out that for the 2nd time, humans have overdeveloped California, again ignoring the lessons of the recurring extremes of weather — but now, instead of cattle, it’s people. In the 1862 drought, one year they got less than 4 inches of rain in the whole year. And in our current drought, we had 5.+ inches of rain in the past year. Meaning it could easily get worse.

      Except they did not have the level of fires we have had — killing off a lot of the redwoods up north that I have read about last year, because those trees had been there far far longer than 150 years. I didn’t find the article I was looking for, but another one about the 1862-65 drought.

      • Larry says:

        What gets me is that during our lifetime our technology has advanced so much so quickly that we tend to believe we can protect our modern societies from severe calamities, yet our modern way of life is upsetting the current, millennias long balance of all life on the planet. I live with a constant unease that Nature as I know it is dying and I’m helpless to do anything of consequence to stop it.

  64. Margaret says:

    I just finished a very well written book about the latest findings in cosmology and quantum physics.
    a universe out of nothing from Lawrence Krauss.
    the writing style is accessible and entertaining, catchy really for such a subject.
    and amazing, like wow, there are more than 4000 billion galaxies all each with billions of stars, the far away ones drifting even further and further away…
    and it is just one example of amazing findings and theories, all pretty well explained in mostly understandable terms.
    very good reading to me, very interesting…
    hope someone else here wants to read it and share an opinion or some thoughts about these ‘universal’ matters!

  65. Margaret says:

    then you must also be interested in cosmology and quantum physics isn’t it?
    he has a very pleasant style of writing doesn’t he?
    and I like the straightforwardness of his remarks about religion, not hostile but very matter of fact and nail on the headline.
    also he addresses existential issues about life and even in a universe that might end in some way or another, how our best option is to make the best of it as we are here and this is what there is now…
    regardless of any god or higher goals or purpose, I like that and agree.
    what interests you in him and his topics?

    • David says:

      Cancel reply
      I was eventually drawn to his impassionate presentation about deities, as much as I was with Hitchens and Dawkins very passionate approaches. Krauss’s mischievous sense of humour, that smile, was a bit confusing at first, a bit off putting for me. I mistook him for being ,’ smartalicky,’ Not somber like most all intellectuals I have encountered. Hitch had crazy humour, but both he and, particularly Dawkins are dead serious in representing their theses on gods and the construct of, ” biblical,” fiction. Krauss is, as well, just not any hint of, ” fuck you and your stupidity,” in debating ideologues.
      “… our best option is to make the best of it as we are here and this is what there is now… regardless of any god or higher goals or purpose, ” I agree with that, too. Quantum Cosmology is still very much in early days, a developing collection of information that may evolve into a strong theory. However we got here, and I’m convinced no,” gods,” were the architects; the bibles are collections of some historical information and a whole lot of fantasy written hundreds of years after the events they represent,by potentially hundreds of authors. And the christian bible in Greek. Certainly not by, assuredly illiterate, fishers.
      How we became is beyond my pea brain and I haven’t wit.’restled with that for decades. I’m satisfied with, ‘ we are, now lets do a good job at it.’ Be good human animals, be good ancestors.
      Stephen Hawkings said that the rules that explain the effectiveness of Homaeopathy lie within Physics, Nano Physics, ( incidentally Qigong also aligns with NanoPhysics, ‘ smaller and smaller increases root effectiveness, root response; opposed to larger and larger increases strength of action, the rule of Chemistry,) whereas Allopathic medical art is based on Chemistry.
      I for decades subscribed to an ad free mag dedicated to social consciousness, , ” the new Internationalist.” Following the Biafran crisis many brilliant non African brains set to work to repair and forestall future vulnerabilities. Russia constructed a massive evaporated milk plant; the UN sponsored planting Poplar trees, The USA used water bombers to dump millions of tons of manure, on and on, great minds creating great solutions; except ALL FAILED. It is against culture to drink anything but teat fresh milk, the Poplar trees did grow fast, but stripped the soil of all nutrients. The only plant more devastating to soil nutrition, and also impacting for decades, is Ginseng. The manure just laid on the ground. There are no dung beetles in that Country, necessary to consume,digest, and convert manure into fertilizer. Finally one brilliant mind thought to ask some local farmers. Give us more buffalo, more camels, was reported to be the advice. So they did. However the water supply would not serve any increase in large animal numbers. Death followed. Another fail.
      It seems to me that governments still follow that model.
      Sort of like religiosity. Like water, great when thirsty, hell, if your stuck in a mud hole.
      However we became, and, maybe we’re beyond help and hope; if not, we need to learn to do a good job. Not this damn extension of religion, IMHO, politics, more Master controlling the peasants. Dr. Janov wrote early on this, the need for laws, sophistication vs social eruditeness. The answer, two smart phones in every pocket and free Internet. (:
      Who are the new great minds following in the wake of Krauss, Hitchens, Dawkins, Janov…
      As an aside I read that christianity is a hot commodity in China and Russia. Not approved but tolerated. Let the people have some harmless, to the State, anesthetic….
      There, I’ve satisfied my need to yatter; or I think Daniel expressed it civily, ” bullshit.”
      Appreciate your contact, Maggie..

  66. Renee says:

    My favorite song in the whole world. If I was stranded on a desert island and could have only one song with me, to listen to over and over again, this is the one I would choose. This video for the song was filmed 50 years ago today, July 21, 2021. Enjoy!

    • Daniel says:

      Stranded on a desert island, I’d probably go for this one:

      • Sylvia says:

        Daniel, I think that would be a good inspirational song for building a boat, a raft at the very least as Tom Hanks did in Castaways. A volleyball might come in handy, too for companionship.

      • Vicki says:

        I had a hard time understanding the words, so I looked it up.

        Boats to Build
        Guy Clark

        It’s time for a change
        I’m tired of that same ol’ same
        The same ol’ words the same ol’ lines
        The same ol’ tricks and the same ol’ rhymes

        Days precious days
        Roll in and out like waves
        I got boards to bend I got planks to nail
        I got charts to make I got seas to sail

        I’m gonna build me a boat
        With these two hands
        It’ll be a fair curve
        From a noble plan
        Let the chips fall where they will
        ‘Cause I’ve got boats to build

        Sails are just like wings
        The wind can make ’em sing
        Songs of life songs of hope
        Songs to keep your dreams afloat

        I’m gonna build me a boat
        With these two hands
        It’ll be a fair curve
        From a noble plan
        Let the chips fall where they will
        ‘Cause I’ve got boats to build

        Shores distant shores
        There’s where I’m headed for
        Got the stars to guide my way
        Sail into the light of day

        I’m gonna build me a boat
        With these two hands
        It’ll be a fair curve
        From a noble plan
        Let the chips fall where they will
        ‘Cause I’ve got boats to build

  67. Phil says:

    Some complaints this morning. I got back from a very nice vacation trip to Spain on Sunday, but my suitcase didn’t. It was expected to arrive at my door yesterday by 8:00 AM, and never got there. There are some food items in there, as well as clothes I need. I just sent out an email to a company called “Where is my Suitcase”, asking where is my suitcase? They are contracted by American Airlines to help lose my suitcase. I have other complaints, but that’s enough for now.

  68. David says:

    Having problems posting. Log in as usual from my email account, to post and WordPress refuses to post. I have to come to the page and post directly. Today I had to do a copy and paste, which also took numerus tries. Everytime I tried to copy the text collapsed. BUT true to my TAURUS nature I’m as tenacios as a vise….

    • Phil says:

      Nice picture Margaret! Enjoying a summer day with your mom?


      • Margaret says:

        thanks Phil!
        it was indeed a nice afternoon, rabbits, alpacas, mom singing and making other ladies join in, sunshine and ice cream…

        • Margaret says:

          Margaret, it sounds like it was very nice. How were the rabbit cooked, maybe in garlic?

          • Sylvia says:

            Yikes, Phil and Margaret, I thought the same as I quickly read the response of ice cream and rabbits. Just teasing a bit. But, really, it is such a nice picture, Margaret, of you and your mom enjoying the day. Thank you for showing it.

  69. superstarguru says:

    I was reading a story from a man who lived in Baja California, Mexico about ten years ago. He lived across the street from an open dirt soccer field. One day, four cars pulled into the field and a bunch of seedy, menacing-looking guys clambered out of the vehicles. A member of this group opened the trunk of one of the vehicles and pulled out what was apparently a torture victim. Some of the group continued to beat on the victim until his limbs were immobile.
    Some moments later, another member of this group opened a trunk of a second car and took out four lengths of rope. This gang tied each piece of rope to each limb of the victim and the other end of these four ropes to a rear bumper of each of the four vehicles. Everyone hurriedly re-entered their vehicles and sped off in four separate directions, tearing all the limbs apart from the victim’s torso.
    The man who recalled this story said he never forgot the harrowing screams of agony as the cars drove off.

    For a variety of reasons I had trouble believing whether this story is true or simply a product of an over-active imagination. I realize humans are capable of execrable depths of evil, but is it even possible to quickly attach ropes to limbs like that without them simply sliding off?

    • superstarguru says:

      Maybe I was mentally traumatized reading that horrid story and couldn’t help myself from re-posting it on the blog, sorry. I probably should have given a warning first, for it shocked me enough to ask myself, “People really do stuff like this??”

    • Daniel says:

      Whether this story is true or not, humans are known to produce unspeakable cruelty. In somewhat related but better news, it seems South African police managed to capture and arrest Dawie Groenewald, the world’s most wanted man when it comes to rhino horn trafficking. Groenewald, a former policeman himself, was one of the the subjects of this 2016 story from National Geographic.

      I hope they feed him to the alligators (you see? Cruelty again…)

      • superstarguru says:

        Daniel, well later in the day I did come to understand why that supposed incident was traumatizing for me to read, and unfortunately I’m applying a 75% chance it really happened. The Mexican murderers may have taken their inspiration (if we can call it that) from a terrifying scene in The Hitcher.
        My dad used to take me to all sorts of R-rated movies when I was young. I could handle most of them except for the baby alien popping out of a guy’s stomach in Alien. It was the only time I had to leave the theater as I was about to faint. Dad was bemused about this. This scene from The Hitcher was a very close second to where I almost had to leave the theater at the time.
        Rutger Hauer was a good actor, but this on-screen murder is not for sensitive souls. You’ve been warned:

        • Daniel says:

          Neither of those scenes are in my opinion appropriate for children or young adolescents, Guru. Sorry you had to watch them. I also have a faint memory of either watching a film or reading a book, set in the Middle Ages, in which a man was torn apart by four horses.

          • superstarguru says:

            I can understand your point about how dad might have been too permissive in this area. The chainsaw scene in Scarface and the head explosion in Scanners are other examples of where I was just barely able to ‘hold it together’ enough to stay in the theater the remainder of the productions.

            • Daniel says:

              I don’t want to fault your dad for this, I’m sure he had your best interests in mind and just wanted to enjoy something, a film in this case, with his son. In hindsight, always 20/20, it was a bit too much for you.

              • superstarguru says:

                This is actually a slight hat tip to Primal ideas, for I could view almost any of those gory scenes now much more easily than I could when I was little, when all of it was so overpoweringly ‘real’.

            • Vicki says:

              Guru, some horror (like Alien) I have not and cannot watch, nor the one above, that you posted, and many others I could name on a long list. But the explosion in ‘Scanners’ I very much related to, as part of my own common feeling of being ‘under pressure’ and feeling like my brain is going to explode — I have felt that for many years.

              • superstarguru says:

                Vicki, you might be surprised to know that the scene above from The Hitcher has much MUCH less actual physical blood and gore than the exploding Scanners head. There’s almost no actual blood at all. The reason the clip I posted above may be tough to take is the emotional component of Jennifer Jason-Leigh begging for her life. She did a skilled acting job of re-creating the pleadings of someone in that situation. Mercifully the movie did not explicitly show actual dismemberment, only leaving the end result to the viewer’s imagination.
                I actually thought the Scanners scene was slightly tougher!
                Sorry I can’t give you much intelligent feedback about your feeling under brain pressure. I can only posit some theories of my own which may be irrelevant to you there.

            • Vicki says:

              I also have another take on horror films, Guru, as a friend and I used to discuss/debate over a period of years: which is worse — the Werewolf, or Dracula? — in terms of prototypes for any horror creature. My friend was more frightened of the Werewolf, or any monster that would violently tear him apart and devour him, he found them more nightmarish, and felt Dracula was less scary, as if he felt he had more of a chance of survival. While I felt that Dracula was worse, as one who would sneakily subvert my being, sucking the life out, using me, and turning me into something “other” or not quite alive, so I would no longer know who I was — I would rather be dead quickly, than by slow & perverted torture. As a child, I saw little of either of those old horror films, as I found them all scary. But I find the question of preference interesting.

  70. Margaret says:

    Sylvia and Phil,
    ha, I had missed that part at first!
    i must admit how while looking at the young playful rabbits chasing each other in the grass, I feel a bit guilty when brief memories cross my mind about tasty rabbit stews in my childhood and later on.

  71. Daniel says:

    It was rather gloomy expecting the roar of the crowd and its applause only to encounter the silence in its absence. The pantomimes of the pictograms were wonderful and together with the flying ball of drones in the sky over the stadium were the highlight for me.

    Also appreciated was the moving (for me) first-ever Olympic moment of silence for the Israeli athletes who were taken hostage, brutalized, and then murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the Olympic Park during the Munich games in 1972. Luckily the games are held in Japan. Had they been in woke San Francisco no doubt a moment of silence would have been held for the terrorists.

    Those of you interested in what happened in Munich the 2000 Oscar winning documentary “One day in September” is excellent, a real thriller.

  72. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    so sorry. i don’t like to hear the use of ‘woke’. the stupid fucking repuglicans have destroyed this country. if they spent just 10% of their energy trying to build a good clean lie-free world, we would all be better off. sure dems spend too much and generally f stuff up. just like repugs.
    anyway, it did come to my mind yesterday why israelis hate palestinians more than ever. olympic massacre. that will never be forgiven. but israelis are f’d up with the way they eject palestinians from homes and bomb children. not that palestinians, americans, sryrians, houti, saudi, and on and on bomb kids. who gives them the bombs? hmmm this shit goes on forever. some of us can feel or see our pain, the others just say trump got screwed. nothing i can do about the shit that mankind and me do. i die soon enough, day by day. once dead, death no longer will haunt me, just the few that remain.

    • Daniel says:

      Otto, the Olympic massacre, as you call it, was only one burst of violence in a long list beginning more or less at the turn of the 20th century, when Jews began emigrating (or returning as they saw it) to Palestine, then part of the Ottoman empire. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the Jewish national narrative was always one of legitimacy and security, whereas the Palestinian national narrative was about uprooting and dispossession. When the conflict flares up from time to time both sides, as if in a Pavlovian response, hit the other side exactly where their national narrative hurts – the Palestinians with terror and the Jews with dispossession.

  73. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    but what i really wanted to say before i remembered the existence of the white-trash repuglican half of this country. which reminds me, i am glad that some of us woke up to see the centuries-long torture of black, latin, asian, jewish, muslim brothers by unwoke white fucks like me. i didn’t realize it until this past year. blm spoke up because of cop-murdering-a-black. whoopee, now repugs take away our votes. assholes.

  74. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    what i really wanted to say, here in l.a., my youngest son, his wife and 2 young children were exposed to covid this week. parents were already vaccinated. kids not. we will see how this plays out. i probably wont do group tomorrow because barb doesnt see anything wrong with going to lunch with our now-covid-adjacent son. old white cat stays alive in this f’ing heat but his long hair and fleas probably make him ver uncomfortable. suki remains pooping massive turds if i am not too tired to give her her meds. i got that other crap but i dont know how much to give. barb says you cant give too much of a homeopathic and you cant touch it either. makes no sense., anyway if i go to group tomorrow, this is all i have to say. of course the old pain of not exising and being heard will be ever present. i do like to hear other people and their lives.

  75. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    NO what i really wanted to say was something about how the large bluejay squawks annoyingly everday if i havent left enough bird seed for him. he looks at ground as if to say “there’s seed on the ground buddie but i don’t want to get killed by your mfing cats, so please put some up here so i can stay alive”. i too was always interested in language, and i detest the so-called linguists who say that animals dont have a language. right on dr doolittle. also my wife’s son drove herself and kids to see a relative in arizona. they told her she need doctor referral to get covid test there. i hope she comes in contact with as many white-trash repugs as possible. less right-wing nazi voters next year. yes, i am just that much of a violent hateful beyotch.

  76. Vicki says:

    I needed to listen yet again to Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”, one on a list of songs I always have to move for. I have never seen her perform, but it always reminds me of when I saw her years ago at Whole Foods, shopping in the vegetable section.

  77. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    another great group. i learn so much. i say i have nothing to say and everyone believes it. who on the planet has nothing to say? if i don’t say a thing in 2 seconds, the mob rushes in with their overneeds to be seen. since my bedroom is hot and unsafe for primal activity, i dont complain.
    i have complained when this has happened during in-person groups (a few times) , but i probably wont be alive when or if that ever happens again.and next person gets to speak for an hour or a lifetime. of course this is my childhood mode, allow myself to be screwed and then hate the screwer.

  78. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    what a revelation. with zoom group, i can just leave when i get tired of hearing people talk about themselves. so much easier and discreet than leaving an in-person group when someone interrupts me to tell me how dare i come forth all fat like i am. (just when i finally got a chance to speak, years ago). of course, i would always let my mind leave the premises when my poor dear insane angry grandmother kept talking on and on, decades ago. can’t remember where my mind went those years, to some fantasy world, thinking about stuff i could do…probably not a math problem, probably not about girls, maybe how tg build a submarine out of a refrigerator box for a movie i wanted to make. anyway, and definitely cant remember what grandma was talking about, maybe something about how she was disgusted. maybe like trump. must be a german thing. anyway, thanks for the opportunity, wish i could have stayed to listen to someone who i actually cared to hear from. anyway well worth the price of admission to leave and silently say fy to one and all who unfortunately, only care about themselves. this has given me some energy to do a couple of things, like order a fan for the heat dispersion in this shithole city that is obviously ungrateful for my need to be comfortable. i am still grateful to be alive. fuck me, i am crazier than ever. and dont think for a minute that i dont realize what a small pile of crap human being that i am.

    • Phil says:

      Otto, I thought you had a chance to speak in group, but you didn’t want to say much, it seemed. I certainly have had the feeling that others are getting more attention in group, or that I’m not getting any, which is very painful to have to talk about. When that’s going on I find it hard to talk about anything else.

  79. Otto, Get back here ! G.

  80. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    BOY, DO I FELL BAD. NOT SAYING TO ANYONE IN PARTICULAR, I JUST NEED TO SAY IT. not shouting, but i should be. yep, i am doing something wrong. was optimistic for a while yesterday, and then just kablooey. wham. pow. another weekend with, at the least, no chores done which have backed up for a year, and at the most, a weekend of nothingness and no joy. again. thank golly for work, the ultimate pain killer. food is not working much anymore.

  81. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    one last thing. i feel like a lab monkey or a factory chicken or dog pound cat trapped in a tiny cage, so suffocatingly small that i am screaming in agony. well, i try to go back to sleep. raccon eating peanuts outside, not in a cage

  82. Margaret says:

    I went to he hairdresser yesterday and we had a very informative chat while he was cutting my hair!
    he asked me how I was doing and when I told him I feel very tired all the time lately, he called out ‘youth!’
    turns out we both had Moderna and both just went to the doctor with the same set of complaints.
    feeling tired , blood pressure shifts, sometimes light in the head or even dizzy, and in his case his thyroid having slowed down.
    i told him my blood sample showed no lacks of anything, and that I had suggested to my doctor it might be linked to moderna and Pfeisser seemingly triggering the lymph nodes for over 12 weeks instead of 2, like the other vaccines, to produce protective immune memory cells.
    that would explain the tiredness, the body being in fighting mode.
    my doctor seemed to hesitate, answering it had been a long time since my shots, but I replied since the last shot those 12 weeks would be over only in the midst of august.
    my hairdresser told me he has a colleague of my doctor in the group medical center, and his doctor immediately linked his symptoms to the vaccine triggering his immune system, not a bad thing of course, but hopefully this side effect is temporary…
    his doctor said he sees it regularly, and would bring it on the table in the medical group meeting with his colleagues.
    it was such a relief to finally talk with someone who acknowledged my suppositions and confirmed them, as I was slowly started to ask myself if I was maybe developing cancer as I always feel so tired .
    and it was great to talk with someone in the same position finally, he also told me his partner doubted his symptoms and conclusions, as the partner had the same vaccine but not these symptoms.
    but that is not uncommon seemingly.
    so for anyone feeling very tired, this can be it, your immune system building up a big protective army for future attacks.
    I heard some day on the news this vaccine may therefor offer protection for years or even lifelong with only one set of shots.
    let’s hope that’s right and let’s hope the fatigue diminishes after 12 weeks!

  83. Margaret says:

    you have a hard time in group but your comments are so well written, to the point and touching.
    when i read them during your group, for which I felt too tired to participate, I was wishing Gretchen could read it, and then you’d, Gretchen, and wrote to Otto on the blog, which is impressive as I am sure you even managed to follow what went on there as well at the same time.
    it feels so caring and really touched me.
    I hope it became a good group for everyone, including Otto, but even when you did not return , Otto, you seem good to make the best out of things in your own way, way to go,

  84. Margaret says:

    Phil, how are you doing?
    has your suitcase arrived home already? with the jamon still in it?

    • Phil says:

      Hi Margaret,
      my suitcase finally came at 12;30 AM on Saturday, almost a whole week later. I encouraged the driver to come even at that hour, after he messaged me, and that he should ring my doorbell. It felt a little awkward, like should I have given him a tip for bringing my bag a week late? I had no cash, so I didn’t do that. The jamon, bones, and cheese (which I had forgotten about) were still there. My wife claims all of that food is still good, but I’m not tempted to give it a try. I’m very happy to have back my essential clothing items, shoes, etc., so I don’t have to run out and buy new things, and I feel less screwed by the airline. I remember you had a similar experience. Worse really, since you were away from home.
      At times it’s hard being alone here, I’m triggered now and then with abandonment etc. But I have plenty of time to play the saxophone, and feel like I’m making good progress with that. I’m starting to have confidence that I can become a good musician. I’m staying connected with my wife through Whatsapp, and group yesterday was very helpful.


      • Phil says:

        there was no rabbit in my suitcase, but I feel inspired to share a story. Years ago my mother-in-law visited us when our second son was born, and she stayed like two or three months. By that time we were already living in the suburban development where we’re still located. She is a farmer woman from a rural area in Spain. When she saw rabbits in our backyard her first thought was how good they would go with her cooking. She made some traps but had no luck catching any rabbits, after a lot of trying. Other critters like ground hogs and squirrels were easier to catch, but wouldn’t go good in paella. One day we were
        outside and noticed a rabbit in the backyard. There was a baseball on the ground, and on an impulse I picked it up and threw it at the rabbit, 60, 70, or more feet away. I was amazed by my accuracy because I hit it in it’s hindquarters, and it was paralyzed. It couldn’t move. I doubt I could do that again in 1000 years. The best pitcher on the LA Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw, probably couldn’t do that. My mother-in-law quickly ran over there and broke it’s neck. Very soon we were enjoying some great free range rabbit for dinner. The funniest part of the story is that, for more than five years, there were no more rabbits on our property, although they were in the neighborhood. The word must have gotten around.

        • Margaret says:

          that sounds like a fabulous throw indeed! Poor rabbit, but you must have risen sky-high in your mother in law’s esteem!

          • Phil says:

            I did that for my mother-in-law, otherwise I wouldn’t pose any threat to wildlife. But we have always gotten along well, as long as my wife is happy, so getting that rabbit didn’t change anything with her. She’s just very food oriented, which is fine by me.


  85. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    thanks for the opportunity to at least express some of my thoughts or feelings. the doom/bad feeling is fighting with my anti-depressant, and who will win? dont bother to read, only doing to clear out brain a little. forgot what i was going to say. busy. got to work. got to feed birds and other beings. water lawn. take out trash. earn my money. still alive but for how long. barb going to ohio to visit. letters like this i used to send from military school, letters to aunts, grandmother, i forget. most of them now gone. no family extended now, no friends. military school which we drove by a few weeks ago. now it is a regular school i guess. i never did this therapy right, few retreats, groups, especially sessions. took too much acid in youth. hanging on by a thick thread.

  86. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i am going to just keep babbling on and on, for no apparent reason. i stopped eating bread because my diabetes is way out of control. now i am extra tired for some reason. bread and meat. sandwiches. why does it remind me of my mean uncle giving me big chunks of barracuda that he caught and smoked in his smoking thing? no good can come of this, as i am already too full and bombarded with memories. the smell of the wet carpets that he clean on a big cement slab as a business. who gives a flying f.

  87. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    barb not happy. probably because she live with stone-cold me. she go fly to ohio to see kid number 1. his bad back brought back his lust for pain killers and so he went insane for a while but maybe calmer now. i stay here and take care of spoiled and/or sick or old cats. and eat pizza

  88. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    don’t know why, makes me tear up for some reason
    How Simone Biles saved herself — and her teammates — at the Olympics
    stone-cold me

    • Daniel says:

      I wanted to hug her. This super-human athlete turning human made her image and career all the more impressive, talking about having mental and emotional difficulties, going to therapy, taking medications, not trusting herself, wanting to do it for herself but feeling she’s doing it for other people.

      The reports are Biles has been having therapy since Larry Nassar’s abuse of gymnasts came to light. Athlete A, the Netflix documentary about the case, is IMO good compared to many other examples of the True Crime genre, not only for the journalistic achievement or the story of young women who find justice, but also for showing the thin line between coaching and abuse, and most of all IMO the dark side of parents’ ambitions and wishes for their children who may, just like Simone, find themselves “doing it for other people”.

      Unfortunately, the film only touched upon this last point, without delving deeper into it, but still it was brave for bringing it up rather than remaining in the comfort zone of (good) victims and (bad) perpetrator. It was missing in the documentaries about Jeffery Epstein (also on Netflix) or Harvey Weinstein.

    • Daniel says:

      Sorry, the documentary I saw was HBO’s At the Heart of Gold, not Netflix’s Athlete A.

  89. Phil says:

    I’ve found that this very old song (but new to me) has become effective at helping with feelings. “I had the craziest dream” (that my mother loved me), but there was no sign that she did. I strongly closed off from wanting or needing anything from her in childhood, opening that up is very painful and difficult. I think the truth is I don’t remember much, because there’s almost nothing good to remember. I’ve twisted the meaning of this song around to suite my feelings. Phil

  90. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    good for you, phil, to find that song. what you wrote brings tears to my eyes. a lotta pain…

  91. Margaret says:

    my screenreader could not detect any link to the song you mentioned.
    can you send me the link or post it in some other way so I can find it?
    thanks, I am curious as to which song it is, M

    • Phil says:

      I sent it to you in an email. I bought a CD set of the Harry James Orchestra some months ago. They were popular in the big band era in the 1940’s. I’ve found several songs on there they I like a lot, and help bring out feelings. Here’s another one, which happens to have a great alto sax in the middle. I’m just very sensitive to music, it’s one of my main things. So these songs may not have an impact on anyone else.

      • Phil says:

        It has an alto sax solo in the middle, is what I meant to say, by Willie Smith. I hope I can play that good some day. These songs were popular when my mother and father were young, in there 20’s, so I can imagine them at that age listening to them. They had a lot of love for each other, it seems, but little or nothing for me.

        • David says:

          I was likely in my 50’s when I realized after watching a movie about the, ” Hep Cats,” where my mother’s, to me, disconnected sayings came from. She had been attracted to that culture and that music. I understood then,too, why she seemed to have no sense of timing, amazing voice but zero timing, when we gathered around the pump organ to sing those boring, droney hymns and WHITE music. Her timing came from Jazz and 30’s POP; always bang on when called for.

  92. Margaret says:

    thanks Phil!
    I love the combination of the close harmonies with the playfulness of the melody and lyrics and the richness of the big band instruments.
    ran into another version of the crazy dream too a bit lower down on the site, maybe from Ella Fitzgerald, not sure, a bit slower , think I prefer the big band version for its playfulness.
    also listened to the zoo song, haha.
    could not read which song was the second one you liked, with the alt sax solo in it, what was the title?

    • Phil says:

      the second one I posted just now is called “It’s been a long long time”, I’ll also send you the link in an email. I think it was recorded by many different artists, but I like this version. It was a popular song during WW2.


  93. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    can’t get it through my head. wtf is music? mankind took a hard right turn from chimps and stepped on the accelerator. what does it mean? wtf this stuff opens me up? John Paul Jones & Paul Gilbert – Going to California [HD – Stereo]

  94. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    wish i could let myself cry with it. not sure who turned the song onto me. probably someone who smoked pot. if i cried i would remember.

  95. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    broken diamonds. now there is a well-crafted, well-acted, well-filmed, and probably well-directed movie about mental illness. not a tear-jerky one, but at thend of it, i am left feeling oh so sad. maybe i wake up in the middle of the night hen cats are crawling over me, maybe i let myself feel a little more of the sadness. of course, my kids got my mental illness passed down to them also. i put this out, since a lot of us like the movies on tv, and hollywood has really gone absent with anything good at all for so many years now. just in case you didnt want to be the last to know about this gem, or maybe i am the last to know. finally something barb and i could watch together instead of drivel.

  96. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Phil, i like the sax in ‘Return to Sender’. it just seems out-of-place as an instrument in that piece, to me at least. but a beautiful sub-melody or whatever the technical term. not sure if it was a producer, or elvis himself who put it in there. i have heard that some musicians like to do something called ‘jamming’ so maybe it just burst forth that way. maybe the sax guy came to the studio while he was on a visit to his 80-year old mother or something. maybe the player who usually filled that spot in the band was out with a cold. maybe i have watched too much tv and movies in my life and i livein a fantasy world. maybe i am totally wrong about this song. i will post this and look for my cheap little white-wire earphones and see. i dont want to blast the neighbors or barb, they are all pretty much wishing i didnt exist or at least wish they never had to hear from me again. well, that is certainly an old feeling out of my babyhood, feeling that keeps me out of group and even sessions. ‘nobody wants to hear my pain’. i typed this with one finger, fast enough since i took typing in 8th grade. typed with one of my fingers that is no longer numb. chiropractor told barb that it could be something with my spine. chiropractor that i will never go see, since i already tried that with barb’s 1st chiropractor, who was busy selling supplements to a patient the first time we walked into her office, and i was aghast right away, rightfully so because 20 years later, thousands spent on them, hopefully keeping barb alive and free of painful disease. she is certainly happy for someone who says she is unhappy. because of me. anniversary next week 45 years i think. motormouth me. fuck me. go fuck yoursel otto.

  97. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i guessif you shove a bottle into a baby’s mouth everytime he starts crying, that might lead to over-eating in the future. don’t need noom to figure that out for me. i go take shower now, in the dirty-floor-showerstall, dirty since i didn’t want to catch covid from a plumber since april 2020. i promise i will be quiet so i dont wake up barb

  98. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    ok one last thing since you pried it out of me. i seem to feel lighter and less depressed lately (except when i wake up in the middle of the night and my mind presents to me all the horrific unforgivable , mistakes i have made in my life, especially with my children) –but my thinking is that i feel somewhat better being related to august is mostly sun sign leo, but ….anyway, dont breathe if you come to l.a. today. 100 degrees where i live, and bad air on all sides

  99. Phil says:

    This past weekend I went to the Newport Jazz festival and there was a lot of great music, so it was wonderful to be there. It could have been better in that I went by myself. It started Friday, which I missed, but I was there Saturday and Sunday. Usually I wouldn’t have the energy to do something like this with no companionship, so it was good I was able to do it. It was costly, but worth it.
    My wife is still out of town until this comingweekend. If she had been here we probably wouldn’t have gone. I got turned on to a lot of musicians and music I wasn’t aware of before. For example, there was some great harp playing, and I never really listened to jazz harp playing before, certainly not at a concert. One part of the festival was a jam session, which included harp playing by a young woman in her early 20’s. I’m fascinated by the idea of being able to join in on a jam session, with some playing that fits in.
    I’m afraid I didn’t connect with anyone during this experience, and although I didn’t feel alone at the event, before and afterwards I did. I had some big feelings with the help of the song I shared a few days ago. Nothing really to do with going to the festival, I most likely would have been alone at home anyway.
    What I came away with from the feelings of the last days, is just how pervasive the abandonment I experienced in childhood was, how damaging it was, in this case by my mother. I’ll be feeling more on this theme, that’s for sure.
    I feel inspired to attend more events like this, and to continue playing the alto sax. But I’m never going to reach the level of playing of a professional musician, and that’s OK. I can have fun trying.

    • Phil says:

      I was very impressed with Trombone Shorty. He plays trombone, trumpet, sings, and plays some drums too. His music is so lively and entertaining, he’s a great showman, and has a great band. Makes me want to visit New Orleans, where he’s from.

  100. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    why this make me sad Honky Cat – Elton John

  101. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Alison Krauss – In my mind I`m going to Carolina so sad. this would be great if i wasnt pissed off at the South. sad music

  102. OTTO CODINGIAN says: Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces also a good one to bring a little tear. real life

  103. Phil says:

    I’m still stuck with the song below, “I had the Craziest Dream”. It’s just so well done. The singer, Helen Forrest titled her book with that song title, I guess because it was the biggest hit of her career.
    The song seems be touching my existential aloneness, she seems to sing it directly to me, She’s alone and despairing about ever getting what she wants. I’ll be with it until some other song takes over.
    It had me crying again, and it was about some memories of my mother, her leaving me alone. It’s a crazy dream that I would ever get anything from her, so I should give it up. There’s no magic that can ever make that happen.
    I’m not alone now, I picked my wife up at the airport today. She’s exhausted and sleeping. I will be doing much better having her around, but she can’t heal the kind of aloneness I’m talking about.
    I guess it’s what made me stay quiet at the jazz festival I just went to, instead of trying to connect with people, that just doesn’t happen for me naturally. I went there for the music, not to try to make friends, but that would have been nice. It’s the same reason I don’t use my Spanish so much while in Spain, even though I can say a lot. I guess language isn’t really the problem. I wasn’t totally mute, but I said very little to my niece and nephew, for example, and some other people who I’ve known a long time. It can feel like I’m locked in a pattern I can’t break out of.
    It’s something to do with this feeling about my mother. Waiting, there’s nothing coming from her, but it’s the only thing to do. Trying to get anything from her resulted in punishment.


    • Phil says:

      I had more feelings with this yesterday and I’m starting to distinguish and feel that some of this I go through is very early feelings and experiences. It feels helpful to get that perspective on it.
      We’ll be taking another trip, which will be another nice break from work. There’s a wedding to go to in Seattle, and we will be exploring the area, which is the part that I’ll especially enjoy, besides not having to work.

  104. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i didnt really have much to say in group beyond sparring about covid. actually i could have talked about my nightmares of being trapped or about the f’ing cats waking me up at 2am everynite. or the email that i was concocting to send to my kids concerning my feelings about old age or some birth feeling of being trapped and struggling to breathe and almost dying or my anniversary next wednesday and the 45 years of my marriage but hey even though a small group, all minutes were used on everybody else. my experience in primal since 1985. so i am always left with the feeling of intense, angry, go-fuck-yourselves you crew of self-centered bitches that i am excluded from. you know, excluded from the human race. going to go get bird seed, fucking animals let me into their world.

    • Larry says:

      Uh…you’re making excuses for yourself. You had the spotlight for a while. Gretchen tried to engage you in conversation. You chose to say nothing. No one else to blame for it Otto.

  105. Margaret says:

    a very happy birthday to you!!

  106. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    NO. anniversary! thanks; after a somewhat humdrum day at paradise cove where the air was mostly still and the waves to busty to really go into the water nand too crowded with families and their children having the time of their lives, we found this gem on kmozart, a love of classical that is one of the few things that barb and i share. the violin went on forever we bought thought and said to each other and a tragedy is of course in the making. at least we both can share company with each other still, that’s the whole of it, no fireworks, we got together in 1976 and it has been a lot of hello and hell that we went through together. Beethoven, violín concierto. Anne Sophie-Mutter the one on the radio that lasted forever was karajan directing. but this one drives me to tears also–the last part especially. my journey on the planet will be ending soon enough, and very hard to live with.

  107. Margaret says:

    thanks for that incredibly beautiful music!
    it seems to contain all what life is about, pain and beauty.
    not a small thing to share with your partner either…

  108. Daniel says:

    The Olympics ending along with the recent comments here regarding music, reminded me of a funny story. In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed. A year earlier Lithuania already left the Union to declare its independence. The Lithuanian national basketball team made it through all the preliminaries to qualify for the Barcelona Olympics, which was about to take place in 1992, but the Lithuanians were dead broke and the new independent and proud state couldn’t afford to finance its team with even flight tickets to Barcelona.

    The players were desperate. They searched for sponsors all over the world, but all their efforts came to naught. No one would finance them. Then Dennis McNally, the Grateful Dead publicist, read a San Francisco newspaper story about it and mentioned it to Jerry Garcia. Garcia was turned on and decided that the band will bankroll the Lithuanians, but on one condition: The Grateful Dead will design the Lithuanian National Basketball Team’s uniforms for the Olympics. The relieved team happily accepted. Here are the uniforms with which the Lithuanians eventually played in Barcelona:

    The team had great success at the Olympics. They won game after game and only lost the semi-finals to the US dream team with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and other basketball legends. They then played for the bronze medal against the very strong Russians and won 82-78. The bronze medal was theirs.

    Michael Johnson, himself a stickler for personal clothing expression on the court, was so taken by the Lithuanian uniforms that he asked for a shirt as a souvenir.

  109. Chris says:

    haha love this story! thanks for sharing. I wonder if you could find one of these shirts floating around on eBay

  110. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i am so depressed about afghanistan falling (and another big old feeling i dont have time to write about). i feel betrayed by biden. what a dumb old shit. just like dumb old scump said

  111. Vicki says:

    I agree that’s a great story about the Grateful Dead Lithuanian Olympic Basketball team uniforms, I had forgotten that. And Otto, I’ve been reading about Afghans this week, but it just makes me feel we should never have been in that war, pouring money down a hole of terror and death for two decades. I keep feeling, “Just get the hell out of there!” No sense sending any more soldiers in. No pride to salvage. But I don’t claim to know the Afghan situation’s origin and development.

    Change of subject: As I am fasting and dieting, I often read what users post on a “Fasting Community” I belong to. This morning someone wrote about where their weight problem began, and how they were “sent to bed if you didn’t eat what was cooked for you.” Some of those who chimed in wrote about power struggles between parents and kids, or how they were bullied by their parents, or “could not listen to your own sensations when it came to stop eating.” and were “not entitled to your own opinion regarding food”. One said, “I don’t even know where to start. Was told to clean my plate – we could not leave food on the table when so many people were starving and my mom had spent so much time cooking.” Another wrote, “My parents were bullies, and we had DV issues in the form of yelling and swearing and plates, cups and beer bottles being smashed at walls and on the floor. We were a family of sorts but we were never good enough for our parents. My mother also took great joy in calling me fat over and over again – I wasn’t at that point – but I sure proved I could be”. Those excerpts are from 42 responses on the post I read, so a lot of people with a lot of feelings.

    By then I was thoroughly worked up, so I wrote my comment: ‘I relate to those who wrote of their “abusive food childhoods”, like mine. Not only “clean your plate” because of expense, but also “starving children around the world”, and “because I said so”. I had to sit for 3-4 hrs. on Sundays, chasing bits of scrambled egg around my plate, covered with ketchup, gagging them down — I still hate eggs, and gag at the smell! At three years, they felt I was “too thin”, afraid that “people would think they didn’t take care of me”, so they “had to force me to eat”, they told me. I can’t remember the gagging, spitting up, and face-slapping — but from 3 yrs. old, I became obese, the rest of my life — and my mom berated me every day for being fat, telling me, “No one will ever love you, because you’re fat.” That was hard to write, but it’s true, so I won’t delete it. I feel lucky to have had therapy, instead of blowing my brains out over all of it. No picnic being treated like s***, and told it’s good for me. I just work hard every day, to recover from the abuse, as best I can, and not let it take the rest of my life away from me. No other choice.’

    I don’t think I have written a more concise version of this narrow subject, in the past, nor on a “public” forum. I felt good about it, just that I stuck to the related topic, and didn’t try to broaden into the rest of my life. When we asked, “Why?”, my dad commonly said, “Because I’m the boss, and I say so!”, or “Do as I say, not as I do!” and certainly didn’t like hypocrisy pointed out.

    • David says:

      That part of your story reverberates mine, the, ” fat,” diatribe, and any excuse to hit.
      Have you read Change Your Genetic History, Dr Peter J D’Adamo ? I have read them, and tried them, DIETS,” all,” and this is the first author who has done the SCIENCE to support the conclusions on human nutrition. It’s health, not just lose weight, oriented. Not a Diet book, Losing the weight is a result of getting well

      The one size fits all approach doesn’t hold up logically nor scientifically. I also use intermittent fasting; didn’t know it had a name; my eating window is 12 noon – 4 pm. Dr Sten Eckberg, former Olympian sprinter, has a lot of good info on Youtube. ( Wonder if they stole the logo idea from U2 ?? hmmm) I part with Eckberg only in his adherence to one size nutrition, and exercise, fits all. When I was practicing Naturopathy I observed that it doesn’t. Low fat, vegetarian patients, and me, remained or got fat. A 7 week water fast followed by a diet with good fats, low protein, low starches, NO juices, NO sugar, eating whole foods that I cook, was like jet fuel, for me. When a doc friend sent me one of D’Adamo’s books in the 90’s his scientific research explained it all. INDIVIDUALIZED HUMAN MEDICINE. Anyway, I’m ranting.. best thoughts…

  112. Vicki says:

    With 5 cases today, New Zealand is on Covid Lockdown. Wow! Jacinda Ardern is not messing around!

  113. Phil says:

    I find this so heartbreaking, I am still crying, an item on the news about Kaboul, Afghanistan, all those people desperatelyu wanting to escape, but the worst item was the one about a long line of women, mostly Afhan, handing over their small children to each other hopeing at the end of the line someone would be there to take them over and bring them into safety and freedom into some airplane.
    it is so sad, so terrible, to as a last resort hand over your own small children to strangers , actually to other women in a long line, not even knowing what will happen to them and if they will reach safety.
    imagine being a mother having to do this out of fear of the kind of life or even death tjeu might have to face if they kept them over there.
    Boy, this really gets to me, such deespair, such impossible sacrifice.
    so sad so sad, so wrong and unacceptable…

  114. Phil says:

    The above comment is from Margaret.

  115. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    oh boy, the health thing. sorry afghanis, you got totally screwed by us. so sorry. i just try to stay alive to take care of cats, kids, bar. another chase dream last nite. maybe the fan brings it on, chased by the murderer of animals, and me(almost). uncle murderer. and now i murder self with eating. chased by angry murdere dream. but it really is–impending heatt attack dream. too high of blood sugar. i keep gtrying the smallest of changes but my heart is most likely broken. seeing doctor next week. impossible to fast. trying to eat vegetables but carl’s jun ior calls me on the weekends. got to work now–that is a major shitload of stress, probably only because it it enmeshed in old feelings. cant wait for that burger

    • Vicki says:

      Otto, persistence does make a difference, coming back to try again to achieve what you need, again. I say this only because my work on fasting and long term consistently improving my diet (and exercise) is getting some results. Not just 30 lbs. down, but also after over 20 yrs. of “diagnosis – diabetic”, testing by my Dr. shows I am offically now at “increased risk of developing diabetes.” That is a whole category of improvement.

  116. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    boy sometimes, i got to talk. like my grandmother (who didnt listen to me much), no one else has to listen. i just like to write. it’s friday and only 8 hours until freedom from work, although i will have to get up at 7 tomorrow because the birds, cats, and others want to be fed plus i go get food for me before the grocery store gets crowded. anyway, my uncle, the murderer of fish, pigeons, and almost me. Like other Texan murderers, such as Governor Abbott, who is killing off his people by being a dick repuglican forbidding mask mandates. of course, he will survive his covid (like Scump) but if one of these crackhead, high-up repugs would die, maybe that would send a message to the other dumb buttholes. and yes i am an ahole for wishing harm on some people, but “sending the message” is part of our judicial system (the world over).

  117. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i guess bingeing on old grey’s anatomy shows, where 1 or more people die per episode, could be affecting me. but i like the characters.

  118. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    my eating or over-eating or looking-forward-to-eating-because-that-is-the-only-human-contact-i-will-get or starving-because-i-was-locked-away-for-not-eating-what-i-was-supposed-to-eat PAIN is definitely killing me. my only source of pleasure. i wish my mom hadn’t abandoned me to jackals.

  119. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Still alive? Yes. A Vietnamese pharmacist used to ask me that every day at work, with a chuckle, in happier days. We go see our youngest son alex tomorrow and maybe his kids too. The resolution to his marriage problem, is that they stayed married but the rich aunt got alex’s wife and kids a great place to live in, and alex moved back into their old apartment to make it easier for his visits with the kids. This is ideal (maybe) because he is not being subjected to the (alleged) insane abuse his wife was inflicting on him. All it cost me and barb was grief and thousands for his lawyer and therapy with e.
    The thought of going to see him tomorrow, moved back into his home that he had not been in for months, starting over from a horrible situation, still hopeful and young–triggered a dream for me last night. I was moving into a new place myself, and there was a big empty closet, and when I saw it, I yelled out “this will make a great primal room!” and that was a real thing for me in 1975. There was also a big reel of movie film with the end piece of film loose and I could see a perfectly exposed and clear picture of alex as a young kid in one of the frames. Some dream. Happier days. No murderer chasing me this time.
    When I got out of the navy, I eventually got a cheap apartment with a big closet that I wanted to use as a primal room. Apartment was in a bad neighborhood so my brother didn’t want to move in with me there. I was young and full of hope for a total primal cure, fueled by listening over and over to john lennon music. I don’t think I ever actually got any primals going, I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to do it, and the neighbors were scary. They stole my tape player and that began a long slide into depression. I also wanted to be a film-maker and that dream was slowly crashing, and later suddenly died at some point in my marriage.
    I had heard about primal in the navy and had an acid-induced primal with screaming and actual feeling, but the navy psychiatrist kicked me out of the navy when I told him that. Anyway, my kids probably have hope still and my only hope is for a painless death, when fate brings it forth. Anyway. I am tired of work and taking care of things.

  120. Sylvia says:

    I read the daily police report log that appears in our paper. Besides all the bad news of domestic violence and other crimes of neurosis, there are some less harmful, quirky things entered into the log of weekly happenings in the county having been reported by concerned citizens.

    Here are a few that caught my attention: It was reported that a man in the Walmart parking lot was peering into car windows. His answer was that he was simply looking at his reflection.

    A homeowner reported that some people they did not like were writing insults with a stick in the dirt on his front lawn.

    On Walnut St. two men were getting in and out of a blue car around 11:40 a.m. Thurs. They had been doing it since 3 a.m.

    A woman had been in the showers and would not leave Travel Center of America around 6:35 p.m. Thurs. She had been in the showers for more than 3 hrs. She was admonished for her actions and advised of her felony and misdemeanor warrants.

    Diamond Ave.: A man and woman were engaged in inappropriate activities in the grass near the entrance of the skate park around 10:50 a.m. Thurs.

    Oh well. Sometimes the news makes me laugh.

    • Vicki says:

      Sylvia, I get that from news, too. But last night, it was from a review of a 28 oz. barrel of Utz pretzels. People are passionate about the Utz brand, so I read, even though I don’t buy. Numerous other reviewers reported similar problems, but some still love the taste. A guy answered someone’s question, “Approximately how many pretzels per jar?”

      That truth may never be known.
      First off, they sell them by mass and volume.
      Second, not all pretzels are created equal.
      Ergo, the number varies barrel to barrel.

      All that is ultimately irrelevant based on my experience.
      My local Food Lion rearranged their store to torment old people, thus hiding the large pretzels at the end of an aisle for toothpaste and hand cremes.
      In order to feed my need, I ordered one barrel, on line, thru Amazon….
      = really, really bad idea.
      The barrel was dropped in to a generously larger box, which was awarded a miserly wad of paper. This aggregate resulted in significant rattle inside the box, with little or no protection for the contents. The box “did” provide an excellent platform for the shipping label.

      Next, consider the subsequent tossing from one UPS truck to another, with the grand finale of kicking down my driveway before punting on to my porch. On the plus side, it did make it within two days – and, the plastic barrel did not rupture.

      The non-ruptured barrel still contained the original mass/weight of pretzels.
      The volume of the barrel was unchanged.
      The displacement of the pretzels was considerably effected.
      It appeared to be – about – 2/3s full.
      As it turns out, pretzel dust takes up less space than whole pretzels.
      It gets better.
      The largest pretzel fragments were sans salt.
      All the salt was stripped off, settling into the pretzel-granola on the bottom.

      So, if you are talking “whole pretzels”, I can confidently state that I received “0”.
      You “could” get lucky and get 3 or 4. On a good day, you might even score double digits – dozen or more.

      If you are in to eating pretzels with a spoon, go for it.
      I filed this experience in my “what was I thinking” file.

      • Vicki says:

        I forgot to mention, what first got me into reading the Utz pretzel barrel reviews, was some woman’s question, “Can these containers, after they’re empty, be used as cat beds?” I laughed, astonished. Someone replied that they should be fine, unless it was a Maine coon or some other large breed.

        • Sylvia says:

          A cat bed, huh. Funny. Nice answer, though about the breeds too big for the bed. People and their pretzels…who would have guessed. Nice comeback by the guy who complained about the shipping process, a lot of creative talent on amazon reviews. I had never heard of Utz brand before, I feel too sheltered.

          • Vicki says:

            Yeah, Sylvia, a surprising amount of creativity flows into amazon reviews, more often from those p’o’d about something, than from those enamoured. Sometimes I stumble onto something that keeps me in stitches, even to recurring hours later, when thinking about it again. A few years ago, when I was de-fleaing my house after I first got Baby, I discovered that half the reviews for food-grade diatomaceous earth were about how well it dehydrates insects, and the other half were about the benefits of its ingestion, to improve regularity in the bathroom. Who knew! I actually tried a small amount in water myself, to see how it would taste, and had no problem with it. It would likely help with tapeworm — a friend of mine had that many years ago, and had to take enough of a poison to kill the worm, but not her, which was risky.

          • Vicki says:

            I did not know about Utz either, until I started my keto dieting, and looked for no-carb and high-fat munching foods — many brands have some kind of sweetener added, but Utz has keto pork rinds, which I don’t eat much anymore. So much is “out there”, it’s easy to feel sheltered. At a work meeting recently, I was told that emojis have changed so much, that the “skull” emoji now means “dying laughing” among 20-yr.-olds, rather than something bad, as I would naturally think, and I’ll bet a lot of us would, too.

  121. Vicki says:

    RIP – I saw online that Charlie Watts is gone. End of an era for the Stones.

    • David says:

      WOW !! I don’t know why I am always surprised when someone in my age group dies. Great trapper, Charlie. And why do I make charecter judgements about people I don’t know; ie: Charlie; who I made an emotional jugement that he was the socially responsible/respectable, , drugs, promiscuity, yadayadayada, STONE.
      A friend of mine built two guitars for Keith, an acoustic and a tele inspired electric. He delivered them personally and spent a week at Keith’s home. He was mightily blown away to discover that the crazy man image has been a decades old publicity stunt. The Keith he met was a devoted family man with an impressive relationship with his wife and daughters, but whenever the created persona was called into action, out came the cigarette and the glass of scotch. He said he never saw him consumer either, nor any other consciousness altering substance. He says Keith jagged in both habits years back. He also discovered that Keith plays Classical guitar with great feeling, taste, technical skill, and modest aplomb.

      An aside, I just finished chelation therapy to cleanse my carotids. Six months from now I should know the clinnical result.
      Another aside, the same friend built the, ” Six Strings Nation, Canada, guitar using landmark bits and pieces, moose antler nut, a piece of Paul Henderson’s hockey stick used in the Canada Russia series, a piece of Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s canoe paddle, a bit of a Gretsky ring; the top being wood from the criminally assassinated Haida Gwai 300 year old Golden Spruce, ( fellow Canuks will know what I mean.) The elders accepted my friend’s request for the wood donation, guided him to the site, and gave him enough wood to make 3 Sitka guitar tops. This beautiful guitar and it’s now world travel story including the many players can be viewed on line.

  122. superstarguru says:

    There are lots of days where I am overwhelmed with amorphous despair.
    Despairing questions, such as…
    Considering what Janov once wrote, “Although the brain is an exquisitely complex organ, it is not mystical.” along with that statement’s attendant inference that death is the true end of all experiences and we simply dissolve into nothing when we die…..
    Does this mean we are simply sophisticated lapdogs chasing after lots of advanced degrees, money, fame, adulation…nothing more than sophisticated lapdogs trying to fetch sophisticated frisbees that almost all of the Earth’s inhabitants won’t give a shit about such breathless pursuits we made when we die anyway?
    If it wasn’t for Fritz Haber’s nitrogen capture methods about 100 years ago, billions of us wouldn’t have been able to exist due to inadequate agriculture fertilization to stave off hunger long enough to become sophisticated lapdogs chasing after imaginary Frisbees (aka “money”) generated from imaginative thin air by the extraordinarily complex brains of central bankers.
    So….what’s the point?
    I still struggle with those empty and sad questions all the time. They permeate my existence through and through.

    • superstarguru says:

      Mr. Bob Jones earned his degree and scored his big job at university #46128 in town to fetch his wondrously complicated job in section 6B city #39150-A in country XYZ. Who’s gonna give a shit about that, really? Just another sophisticated disposable lapdog.

      • superstarguru says:

        B-b-b-b-but…Bob’s friends and family will care!!
        All I can do is sigh and explain it’s just an internal oxytocin shot.

    • Daniel says:

      Guru, the vacuity of secular life is overwhelming indeed but somehow most of us manage to avoid that realisation. My own experience is that people find most meaning in doing something for others.

      By the way, and at the risk of arousing your anger at me, I’d skip over Margaret’s suggestion for pets and move up the evolutionary ladder straight to human beings. They tell me those mating apps are easier for the apprehensive and being even a half decent man you’re way ahead of the regular male crowd there. I’m sure there are women out there looking for companion, for conversation, for not being alone. It’s possible. Look at Larry!

      • superstarguru says:

        Daniel, I waxed a bit hyperbolic in the depths of my despair when I said, “These empty and sad (secular) questions permeate my being all the time.”
        Yes, I have my terribly downcast hours and days when I become more of a militant atheist. Other days I’m in a more neutral (or even semi-good) mood to where I am more of an agnostic open to new ideas beyond simple materialism.

        I really liked your first sentence concisely explaining everything, though: “Guru, the vacuity of secular life is overwhelming indeed but somehow most of us manage to avoid that realisation.”

        I’m not angry about your idea regarding seeking the right life partner.

        • Phil says:

          I think Daniel made some good points here. Snails make great companions, and are loyal and easy to take care of, but it’s nice to hang out with your own species I think.


  123. Margaret says:

    what went through my mind reading what you wrote is, that it might help you a lot to adopt a pet, cat or dog or even both, if they get along.
    life ’s quality depends so much on company and affection, caring and appreciation.
    and for oxytocin shots, my present course of anthrozoology taught me a little while ago that both the person caressing the pet and the pet itself gets a boost of oxytocin in the process, heart rate lowers, blood pressure drops, cortisol levels drop.
    and it is just so nice to have a few living beings around, soft and cuddly and funny and smart in their own ways, to brighten up life.
    your thoughts might become less gloomy while you can still ponder what makes life worthwhile living.
    just an idea, maybe you could give it a try?

    • superstarguru says:

      Margaret, you told me sometime earlier this year that you found my sarcasm and cynicism to be annoying. After you told me this, you then proceeded to show us your mom who has had the extraordinarily lucky privilege of of living to be 90 years old. Have you considered how radically unrecognizable things would have been different for you had she been killed at 30 as it was in my case?
      I didn’t respond to you at the time about how utterly irritating that was for me because I appreciate the enormous sight-impairment challenges you face every day.
      Your comments made me a lot less inclined to say as much anymore to you, though.

      • superstarguru says:

        My mom’s mom lived to almost 91 despite her pack a day cigarette smoking and her extensive alcohol problems dealing with the pain of losing her only child, so yeah it would have been very likely mom would have lived just as long had nature taken its course instead of the ‘miracle’ of the automobile.
        I tried to explain this through Lisa Lewis’ book about auto crashes, but I realized over time society doesn’t care…those lives are completely disposable and not worth a second thought in mainstream consciousness.
        No wonder society has been worthless garbage for me, and my thoughts are meaningless to society anyway.

        • superstarguru says:

          I should correct myself a little bit. I knew society had a massive vested interest in not caring one whit about the human collateral damage from automobile crashes when I tried to present Lisa Lewis’ book, but it dawned on me that society never WILL care no matter what I did.
          At least I get to look forward to being Bob Jones, student #37126-A at university #29-T in city section B of Anytown country XYZ. How inspiring. Who gives a fuck???
          A meaninglessly disposable piece of Soylent Green in the massive sea of humanity courtesy of Fritz Haber.

          • superstarguru says:

            And no, Margaret, I don’t want a pet for now. Too many other things for me to worry about besides the expense and effort of pet maintenance. I still miss dad tremendously, yet good friends are nice to have.

            • Phil says:

              Guru. you might consider a snail, probably the easiest pet to take care of, aside from a rock.

              • Phil says:

                Of course another good option would be a virtual pet. I had pet snails myself when I was younger, and we went through a virtual pet phase as well.

              • superstarguru says:

                Haha, well that’s a cute idea. I still have half of a large jar of snail shells I collected from childhood. No, none from live snails, just picked off the ground.
                Incidentally, yesterday I caught my predator neighbor who surrounds me sitting in a truck with his main employee watching me put my five loads groceries away from my car into the house…..from start of the five back-and-forth trips…to finish. When I notably smirked and cocked my head after seeing them, they scurried off in the henchman’s truck.

                • superstarguru says:

                  No, it’s not paranoia…the predator wanted to see how good of physical shape I was in bringing the groceries back and forth.
                  If I exhibit signs of struggling or bad health…he can become more excited about grabbing my home soon and focus on any specific weaknesses I display
                  If I exhibit signs of vigor and purposefulness, they will focus their endeavors elsewhere.
                  Just a casual check, you know.

                  • superstarguru says:

                    It’s possible he also checked to see signs of my bringing any alcohol into the house so he can feel more hopeful I will catch cirrhosis or other alcohol-related diseases sooner (sorry to disappoint, not on this trip).
                    Any signs of healthy food such as spinach peeking out from the bags would be bad news for him, as he would have to wait longer before grabbing the land I live on.
                    No, I’m not kidding, it’s really that bad.

                    • superstarguru says:

                      To drive home my point and show I am not delusional, the day his father jumped up and down on my porch he audibly noted that I was carrying a carton of cigarettes to my house an hour AFTER I did this. Yes, I smoked cigarettes 18 years ago…and the way he said what he said tipped me off that he was taking my cigarette purchase as a hopeful sign I could die sooner so he could grab the house and land.
                      it’s no joke or delusion, this is really the sick, avaricious crap I’m dealing with,.

  124. Margaret says:

    finally I start to regain my energy and fitness, after 3 months of my body working to boost my immune system.
    it feels very good.
    I also finished some codeine painkillers yesterday, I still had a prescription, which i activated because of all kind of pains and ailments starting to make life miserable due to the combination of poor energy, stress and many things to do.
    i must say the painkillers stopped the vicious cycle of stress, sore neck and shoulders, more stress etc.
    of course it was a bit of a struggle to deal with the codeine and stay in control, as much as possible in any case, but now, actually to my relief, the box is finished and there I go again for the healthy life…
    lately my mom was more distressed and not so healthy which worried me a lot but luckily she was fine again when I went to visit her yesterday with my brother.
    it was also very good to watch how loving he can be with her, at some point he hugged her spontaneously and she audibly relaxed, and then said ‘he does love me!’, it was so simple and basic and heartwarming, was just what she needed at that point, and probably what he needed as well.
    and it was also what I needed to see and enjoy.
    so back on track again, in hopefully a world slowly returning to a more ‘normal’ lifestyle again, and in any case working to make the best of things.

  125. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    I can barely stand to be. just have to speak it, if only in writing. then i feel less alone. i’m sure this will pass when this horrible heat goes away. when biden and the stupid dems grow a brain. oh wait, some dick repug is going to push newsom out? biden wont help with our fires? he wanted to get money back by ending afghanistan, so he could have a legacy legislation like barrack? afghans are being tortured for this stupid shithead, and i voted for him? better than trump, but trump not going away. we are one or 2 deaths away, by biden or breyer or any dem senator, from putting the maniacal horse-pill eating repugs back in power. jesus. but really–my heart. i’ve abused it terribly for a long time. the nightmare where my texas uncle says a simple menacing ‘hey’ that wakes me up fearing i am about to die–is my heart telling me to get a grip, or just those old childhood feelings?, i don’t know. i went to the doctor and i didn’t expect him to be kind when i told him why i think about death all the time. i told him about my murderous uncle and also my mom dying when i was a baby, and he acknowledged that that was a lot. said to me with feeling and kindness. it’s not like i haven’t heard this in primal. it was just unexpected. i didn’t even remember to tell him about my murdered best friend, or of all the old folks in my family who have already gone into the black years ago. or the slew of pets that i’ve ever had that have died…a lot of them in the last few years.
    ok that’s enough, i feel a little better.

  126. superstarguru says:

    I’m finished needing to have someone listen to my anger and despair about a crushingly ruthless world. Thank you for your attention; I am pacified once more, for now.

  127. superstarguru says:

    The day my dad’s aunt (bless her sweet soul) bought me a nearly new car right before I went to college, this predator came rushing down to carefully examine the car to see how expensive it might have been, so he could gather signs about how much money we may have.

  128. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    too little too late? no time to explain. day 3. we shall see. hopefully not burt lancaster/geronimo being taken away to prison by the cavalry, as the non-indian actress portraying his indian wife looks around and notices that corn is growing, supposedly secretly planted by geronimo after much cajoling by the wife (to save him from prison). at least that is how i remember that flick. too little, too late. we shall see. maybe just a small star burning out finally. cant write clearly, have to work drudgery now 8.5 hours, and frigging cat cant crap again.

  129. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Guru, i don’t understand the mechanics of this blog. if you post, that means i can’t post? i don’t want attention, or at least that is what my childhood and now-adulthood-pain tell me. i write maybe because i don’t really talk to anyone but my wife, and she is often not willing to hear my pain. i did write lots of letters to relatives, (i don’t remember if any of them responded much), the year when i was in military school, 6th grade. should have been learning about girls at that critical juncture, but i was shining shoes and being yelled at. maybe they encouraged writing letters there,, maybe i had written stupid little scripts in 5th grade with my wonderful kind creative inspiring teacher, who was replaced with an ugly-spirited old housemother. i don’t want to be noticed because early on, that the squabs in my mean uncle’s pigeon pen would all freeze, motionless so the would not be noticed and have their heads twisted off. and monkey see, monkey do. no nightmares of being murdered last night, since i got my bp and sugar down a little.

    • superstarguru says:

      Otto, I’m not saying either of us posting prevents the other from posting. I meant that several people posting on the same page can be distracting and even possibly drown out others who post less. Segregated threads for each individual solves that problem so the reader can focus solely on one person at a time.
      Think of it as a group vs. private one-on-one therapist experiences. In group there are a lot of others providing potential distractions to pry one’s attention away while one-on-one is a perfect attentional focus.
      This is not really a complaint on my part, but rather I wanted to make it clear that my copious postings on a common page shared with others is not necessarily an infantile cry for attention (at least not always, only sometimes maybe).

      • David says:

        Sometimes I am overwhemed by your words, but I never avoid you. I have never had the courage to say some things you express. You’re the one who knows best theprocess that works for you. Channeling ol’ pal Jack there, a bit. More and more I say less because I believe I clearly must have nothing of value to say.

        • superstarguru says:

          David, I feel badly that you don’t believe you have anything of value to say. I certainly didn’t want to leave you feeling this way. Don’t hesitate to post as much as you want, especially given your urgent health condition. The only unfortunate thing here is that input from many contributors creates a chaotic mess on a common Word Press page (as per my forum thread discussion yesterday).
          It’s entirely up to you whether you want to read what I say. I think there’s a problematic misconception that we should read or listen to absolutely everything out there or else we will miss out on childhood feelings. Would it make sense for a doctor to study a high-level economics course if it served no current useful purpose for the doctor? The doctor might miss out on annoying or irritating or overwhelming feelings by not reading the economic treatise, but so what? *shrug*

  130. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    David, , my cat has not pooped in 4 days. you mentioned some homeopathics, but i dont know how much to give the cat. i cant pill a cat too good. do i crush and mix in water and squirt it in her mouth? and i think i read that one of them was a deadly poison, aconite or one of the others.
    ik got aconite, gelsemium sempervirens aconitum napellus natrum muriaticum

    • Sylvia says:

      Hi, Otto. Sorry your cat is in distress. You could ask your vet if it is okay to give your kitty a pet enema. They sell them on amazon. When my cat doesn’t go for 2 days I give him one. I keep him on lactulose (a milk sugar liquid) by Rx. You can also go to the facebook group, “Cats with paralysis and mobility challenges.” They have files about the procedure for giving ivory bar soap with warm water enemas. You can buy small tubing on amazon. The tubing is for feeding problems but can be used as enema also. Be sure to ask the vet if it is okay at this stage to do the enema. I will give the links of products below in a reply.
      (Sorry for the TMI for non-cat-aficionados.)

    • David says:

      Hello, Otto; the argument the detractors use against homeopathy is there is no evidence, by chemical analysis, of any of the substance after which the remedy is named. There are thousands of remedies. We believe that the vibrational signature of raw substances get transfered to the extracting medium by the preparation processs.

      Stephen Hawking said homeopathy is explained by Physics, particuary nano physics, not Chemistry. So no worries about poisoning.

      Most remedy bottles have pillule dispensers built in. I prefer Hyland brand remedies for animals, elders, and children, they are instant dissolve under the tongue or in NON TREATED water. Water treatment chemicals neutralize the action of remedies much like how they impair our gut function.
      Remedies are given an hour or more before or after food.
      Use ony sterile plastic or wood spoons. Dispense 3 tabs onto a spoon or directly from the container into a water sterilized glass with a Tbl boiled and cooled water; allow to dissolve. I use a needless hypodermic syringe to suck up the water and squirt it preferably under the tongue of the animal, or on the tongue. Repeat every hour for up to 8 hours, then twice daily until things normalize.The blank tabs are made from milk sugar, slightly sweet, so drinking animals will lap it up. Further drink or food should be withheld for an hour.
      My cats and dogs got a tsp grated fresh garlic and carrot mix and a TBL oil mix, cod liver or safflower for cats, cod and olive for dogs, first food each morning and a TBL of liver. That seemed to keep them regular.

      How old is your cat, sex, eye colour, obessive habits ?

      Interestingly, I found that remedies for young children applied/worked best with kittens and young cats while human elder remedies worked best with elder animals. The effectiveness with non humans is what convinced me unequivocally in the validity of Homeopathy.

      I Face it, it all sounds very witchy whooy.

      My email is

      I’ll research the latest info and get back to you.

  131. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    david, duh i guess i did not bother to read the instructions you posted in may. still worried about the one that is a deadly poison.

  132. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    david, i emailed you. but 1 tablespoon of oil daily? 14 ml? wouldn’t that give them pancreatitis?

    • David says:

      Sorry Otto, that was among my 3 cats, not each…. I goofed. It is important to choose an animal specific oil. Long ago I took a course offerred by Professor Dr Richard Pitcairn, DVD, PHD. One of the texts was, ” Natural Pet Care.” He has massive clinical care experience. IMHO opinion that book is worth owning. I did not receive your email.

  133. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Thanks Sylvia, i knew i should have gotten petems a long time ago. i am not horribly squeamish but clumsy and dont want puncture colon. mucho dinero spent on 4 visits to vets for enemas last may. she has been fine since then, actually it is an everydayconcern already on lactulose but i get tired and sometimes do not give. cisapride maybe i get a refill because maybe it got diluted.

    • Sylvia says:

      Good luck, Otto. The size of the tip of the pet-ema looks daunting. I have even used a small syringe (6 cc.) and filled with soapy ivory bar lathered water and used the very small tubing my mom had for oxygen delivery. You can mark tubing at 2 inches so you know the depth to deliver the soapy water. It can be done once every hour for 3 times. The FB group says up to 6 times and then an oral laxative can even be used after, though I never had to do the laxative. I know it is hard to give the lactulose when they don’t like the taste, but I mix a little can milk or can food liquid with it and use a 6 cc needleless syringe. I cut out his dry food altogether. He only gets canned pate cat food. His colon and bladder have no nerves as a result of an accident but he otherwise plays and runs around like always. I have mixed can pumpkin in his food for fiber, too, but he got tired of that. Wish you and kitty well, Otto. =^.^=

  134. Margaret says:

    I heard about the floodings in new York and New Jersey.
    are you and your loved ones ok?

    • Phil says:

      We’re fine here. Luckily we’re far from the coastal areas which got hit worst. The pump in our basement is working very hard, and I hope it can keep on doing that. It was a whole lot of rain, but not that much wind around here. I still went to work today and didn’t notice any trees down, and the power stayed on.. Still waiting to hear from my son in NYC, but that usually means he’s fine.
      Thanks for asking.

  135. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    cat at hospital overnite. 2 enemas. last nite they said first enema produced nothing. cant call them till 10:30 for update. i would do enemas, but the ones in april didnt produce anything either, they had to pry the crap out. i am scared, am i going to have to put another animal to sleep? the cat that always hisses at her is howling for her, where is she?. this is why i told barb–no more cats. i always bear the brunt of their losses. sophie’s death probably put a clamp on my feelings, i am thinking, which is why i didnt even bother trying to feel anything in group after that. yes i was lax by giving suki dry food and missing her meds. this is who i am, careless. $ and sorrow later and i will still not learn.

  136. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i need to get a primal room constructed so i can yell. cat pooped at vet. vet said give her increased doses of miralax until she poops at least every other day. no maximum of miralax, just give as much as needed, until or unless diarrhea. sure. so i need to get a primal room constructed to yell in. but money to do that went where ….wait, it cost me thousands to have the last vet tell me to just give as much miralax as it takes? hmmmmm. and he really wouldnt discuss me giving enemas. so no dry food, subq every other day, and i am going to find someone who doesnt have shakey hands like i do, to give her enemas as needed. i am not optimistic, let me make that clear. today she comes home. 2 days from now with no poop, do i put her to sleep. wtf

    • Sylvia says:

      Otto, thanks for letting us know about the cat. I have times of no optimism also. My cat deals with bladder problems besides and it’s worrisome too. I have thought about the euthanasia route also. I did have him on Miralax beings that was the easiest way to go, but it does eventually upset the electrolyte balance so I had to just go with the lactulose after the first month.

      Maybe your wife can help with the enema or give the lactulose so it’s not all up to you. Decisions, decisions. I only need to go the enema route when I forget to give his lactulose. I know you have lots of cats and there is only just so much time for pets. I took on the kittens that were born in my neighbor’s yard when he said he was not going to do anything about them. They are the 2nd litter from that mother I’ve raised and they are now 3 months old. I need to get her fixed, but she is wild so will need to trap her.

      Well, good luck, Otto. I guess every cat owner of a mega-colon cat has to make hard decisions eventually. Take care.

  137. Daniel says:

    Vacuous as life may be, it does throw at us bits and pieces of wonder in the form of brilliance, beauty, and folly. Yesterday, for example, I learned how in the 1980’s the Swedish army went bananas over their sophisticated sensors registering signs of Soviet submarines off the Swedish shores without their navy ever actually physically finding them. It took them 15 years to summon some marine scientists and to then find out that those “typical submarine sounds” were actually herring fish farting.

    • superstarguru says:

      Life’s vacuousness is even represented at the subatomic level. If a single atom is represented by a football stadium, the nucleus would be a single grain of rice in the middle of the 50-yard line.

  138. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    david–vacuouness–good word. i look at later. also atom vs ant vs person vs star vs lite year vs eternity. and yet we exist, wtf is that about. i look about book too. thaznks

  139. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    sylvia, what you mean electrolyte issue with miralax?

    this vet said give it till cat poop-s

    • David says:

      miralax doesn’t have electrolyte replacement like the prop-glycol purge has thus the risk of fluid-electrolyte imbalance. Diet deficient in Magnesium can cause constpation. I’ll leave it to your vet. I’d lean towards one who practices holistic veterinary medicine rather than just pharmaceutical medicine.

    • Sylvia says:

      Hi, Otto. My vet said that Miralax causes imbalance in one of the minerals, maybe it was potassium but I’m not sure. After a month of having him on it he became very lethargic and I thought he might not have much time left but he snapped out of it when I stopped the miralax. It was okay for short term like maybe 2 or 3 weeks for him but I only use it once in a while now and it does not necessarily work the next day, may take a couple of days.

      That group I referred to “Cats with paralysis and mobility challengies,” also warns about long-term use of Miralax. I think it would be okay for the problems your kitty is having now but I would not keep her on it past the 3 week mark. I gave my cat up to a teaspoon of it in his food.

      Also there are videos on you tube showing how to “express” your kitty daily, if that works for you. My cat would not allow it and seemed to have pain when I attempted that procedure. He is not a cooperative cat. He will not wear a diaper, either for his bladder problems.

      But, yes, just be careful to not keep kitty on Miralax longterm, would be my advice. If you do, though, maybe get a bloodwork panel every month for electrolyte values.

      • Sylvia says:

        It sounded like my vet was on Miralax on my 2nd sentence–did not mean that; however he could have been but I wouldn’t know about that–ha, ha.

  140. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    and so what is a good brand of cod liver oil? every review i see says there is something wrong with this one, then that one.

  141. Daniel says:

    May the Jewish New Year bring you many joyful events to complain about

  142. superstarguru says:

    Daniel, I did some serious thinking and conferring with a friend over some of what you’ve talked to me about here on the blog and….you should know there have been times where I wouldn’t mind telling you more, but in a more confidential setting.
    Also, unless I fully explain absolutely everything and hold nothing back (which, frankly, would be ridiculously salacious for this blog in general), I’m going to take the next best step and try to clear up something else at least to a limited extent. I once said on the blog I had a strange sex-related matter which afflicted only 1 out of 5 million people. I never should have said this, for it can lead to a lot of serious misunderstandings just as it did when I was in my 20’s and first came across Janov’s writings. Anyway, I was referring to an innate physical characteristic I was born with that was poorly understood at the time and not some strangely exotic behavioral characteristic.
    That’s all I can really say here, except that it led to some tragic misunderstandings I was not able to clear up for a long time after starting to read Primal material.

    • Daniel says:

      Guru, Thanks for your candor. I was sorry to hear you have some condition which you feel, so I gather, makes relationships-seeking all that more difficult. If you’d like you can grab my email from Gretchen and write me privately. However, are you sure love relations cannot be discussed without the full knowledge of your condition?

      • superstarguru says:

        Daniel, no you don’t quite understand quite what I mean yet, uhh…and there were other larger factors such as depression and economic/logistical/vocational dislocation via my mom, etc.
        One compelling reason I posted what I did to you yesterday had to do with your Harvard BDSM post, remember that?
        It was not too long after I alluded to the sex-related item, and it led me to wondering if you may have misinterpreted my original posting….checking to see if I had some wildly aberrant behavior affecting a tiny number of people. BDSM (or whatever it is) means nothing to me, no interest.

        • superstarguru says:

          Anyway, OK I will try to talk to Gretchen about emails. Or maybe she’ll see this and want to send it anyway, not sure.

          • superstarguru says:

            I think the true overriding moral of the story is how people can be led to dangerously erroneous conclusions & what a minefield that can be.
            –I had an actual psychological test (considered highly valid by professionals) telling me I had organic brain damage. Both Daniel and Gretchen have said I should discount that result
            –Reading Janov’s writings early on also led me to believe I must be psychotic as well, when it turned out I was dealing with an entirely different set of problems which were more factual, concrete, and reality-based.

            If you have an authority figure telling you how flawed you are, who are you to believe otherwise if no one else is around to refute that?

            • Daniel says:

              Guru, I fully understand your point that your sex-related condition is real and factual and physiology rather than psychology based. I also understand that you feel that psychological approaches, and Janov’s writings in particular, has led you to believe something is psychologically wrong with you, perhaps somehow discounting your physical/biological condition. Most importantly, though, and correct me if I’m wrong, you feel that those approaches rather than free you actually further locked you in. As you can see, even without divulging your condition there are psychological issued that can be fruitfully discussed, such as being “led to dangerously erroneous conclusions”, being disappointed or indignant or angry at or feeling betrayed by Janov or by other authorities, or the feeling that such a condition as you have may hamper your attempts to find companionship, romance and the erotic. In my opinion there is much that can be said about each of these subjects, and I believe these do not pertain to you alone but in one way or another to all people.

              • superstarguru says:

                Daniel, I very much appreciate your exceptionally sensitive posting, and you are absolutely on the correct track in everything you’re saying even though you don’t know the explicit details.
                It would be wrong to blame Janov for everything, as I was dealing with a serious information vacuum which I had no idea how to navigate correctly (perhaps partially due to mother’s absence and partially to a prudish sex-shaming society overall).
                Fortunately at this time everything is thoroughly understood and it goes back to the old adage, “I wish I knew when I was young what I know now.”
                I’m still currently struggling to decide whether to mail you more details, I don’t know yet.

  143. Margaret says:

    happy new year to you !

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks Margaret. In the meantime in honour of the new Jewish year I managed to break my left foot working in the back yard. I’m in a cast and use crutches. I’m angry at myself for my carelessness, feeling it could have been avoided.

      On the plus side, I’m relieved of walking the dog, preparing meals, and in general not much is expected of me.

      I have a sense there will be a price to pay beyond the physical injury.

      • Vicki says:

        Aw, that’s awful, Daniel! Luckily, your injury should hopefully be much better in 6 weeks or so. I also am upset when I’ve managed to hurt myself by not being careful enough. My worst was 9 years ago, when I completely tore the meniscus in my right knee, taking a bad step on a stair — with a huge effect on my life, I am still trying to recover from, every day.

  144. Vicki says:

    I like this video countering the “freedom-loving” Anti-Vaxxers. First clip shows a guy making his point at a gov’t meeting, about doing whatever he wants in public, taking off successive items of his clothing, until someone in charge asks him to put his pants back on (while the audience has been laughing and whooping) — his point being that we obey certain rules in society, and yet some people feel it’s taking their freedom away.

    After that, another guy has much excellent to say about it all. How the Anti-vaxxers who complain about their freedoms being taken away, still somehow manage to wear clothes in public, stop at red-lights while driving and avoid setting buildings on fire, without whining about how their liberty is being restricted, by not allowing them to spread a disease that has already killed over 630, 000 in the U.S., more than those killed in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, combined. And yet these self-described “patriots” can’t wear a piece of cloth over their faces, “because that minor inconvenience is just too much to bear”. I love it. I also think a lot of this stems from people admiring trump thumbing his nose at the whole world, and imagining they are doing the same.

    • superstarguru says:

      I was late to the party, but I did finally get my second Moderna shot last Friday. About 24-36 hours of fatigue was the primary side effect for me. It’s been said Moderna holds its strength longer than Pfizer because each Moderna shot has 100 mcg of vaccine as opposed to Pfizer’s 30 mcg.

      • superstarguru says:

        “I am strong, my immune system is strong and can handle anything you throw at it. I am a strong, exceptional American. A ruggedly individualistic badass just like the Brawny paper towel guy.”
        And…that’s part of the reason vaccination rates are so low in deep red, rural states.

      • Vicki says:

        Congrats, guru! I didn’t like the side-effects either, but statistically, know I’m less likely to die of it now. Nothing is guaranteed.

        • superstarguru says:

          My main worry about vaccines was how quickly they were developed. It felt as though a rushed process was bound to be flawed. Lots of research finally led me to Moderna.
          I also partially fell sway to the “rugged all-American badass” theme a little bit.
          All the vaccine is doing is teaching my immune system about a new invader (spike protein) it has never seen before. It doesn’t matter how strong and ‘Brawny’ one’s immune system is if it’s not knowledgeable to who the exact enemy should be.

          Having said this, it’s still a semi-fascinating mystery why some unvaccinated will continue to be asymptomatic even to Delta variant.

    • superstarguru says:

      Here’s a good example of the iconic & ruggedly individualistic Brawny Man symbolically romanticizing the rural, red (Republican) state ethos of cutting costs and shrinking government instead of restoring defunct tax rates on the wealthiest for more revenue:

      • superstarguru says:

        And before anyone asks, “What the fuck does a paper towel have to do with the government?” do note I used the phrase ‘symbolically romanticizing’ a scarcity ethos commonly used on the far right to shrink government as much as possible. Thank you.

        • David says:

          They only shrink gov’t services by privatising/hand off service control to wealthy corporate donors, not the cost of gov’t.

          • superstarguru says:

            David that’s a very good point about corruption which can’t be disputed. I suppose I was only referring to Republicans screaming for spending cuts, at least verbally when Democrats control governorships or presidencies. You often hear the catchphrase ‘save taxpayer dollars’. Republicans are always pining to cut food stamp budgets, etc.

            • David says:

              Exactly, Guru. Cannot have the disadvantaged cutting into the spoils of the affluent. I was flummoxed to discover how badly neglected basic infrastructure is in the, ” Red,” states, dispite, often, how many billions have been contributed by the fed.
              I have a cousin living in San Antonio,Texas, now a Trumper, who has joined the invisible man in the sky club, and believes COVID is a sham. While a freedom fighter, she does not extend that freedom to woman’s reproductive choice, considers abortion homicide, and a non refundable ticket to their hell…

  145. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    this dick is going to be the end of the world if he wins. “Elder’s visit to Venice began auspiciously enough, with a handful of Gold’s Gym patrons gathering outside the black-and-red campaign bus to cheer the candidate as he stepped off.”

    If he has support of venice people, we are screwed. the homeless people knew he was a threat though. “Larry Elder cuts short Venice homeless encampment tour after hostile confrontation”. dems need to put them on a bus to follow this pud around and throw more tomatoes at him.

    • Sylvia says:

      I second that, Otto. We need Newsom to stay in office.

      BTW, I forgot to mention about the cod liver oil that it can cause thinning of the blood. I was taking it daily for some weeks a few yrs. ago and had bleeding problems then, so be careful if you take it on a regular basis. Take care.

    • superstarguru says:

      Otto, 20 plus years ago I used to hang out at the Venice boardwalk all the time and lived right there for a short period. Back then there weren’t many homeless encampments. A few, to be sure, from what I saw everyday….but it has been so long since I’ve been there I don’t know how much the population has grown since then.

  146. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Sylvia, the way i get to things (procrastinator), i wont need cod liver oil, just a diaper. anyway, exercise 30 on gazelle before it gets too hot to breathe. actually, air is so bad these days in l.a., at least the valley, we try not top breathe. no memories today while getting the deep breaths on gazelle, but letting my body decide which stretches, shaking, and what notg leaves me with one simple conclusion…i am twisted, very twisted. cat had diarrhea yesterday, which i count as a win since i hadnt seen poop for a day or so. we have a vet who we text, she is holistic, she did acupuncture a long time ago on otto the dachshund, just one time, and he felt better, but even her giving us a discount because lack of money back the, it was costly. she quit working at clinic a long time ago, so we are texting about suki, so we are ok as of this minute. we will give more subq hydration today. now i turn in my chair and do my boring f’ing job and 9 hours later 2 days of freedom, somewhat.

    • Sylvia says:

      Otto, that sounds like things are looking up for the kitty. I’ve never done subq hydration–you are brave. That is great you can have communication with a holistic vet. We have smoke here, too. It has become a common thing now in northern CA during summer and fall. I wear mask outside. There is a healthy-looking opossum eating the cat’s food here at nite. Have a relaxing weekend, Otto. We thank you for the kitty update.

  147. Daniel says:

    How many Americans died in the war on terror since 9/11? If your guess was around 7,000 you are about right, but only partially. The true number may be more than five fold. According to this study, more than 30,000 US service members and veterans of the Post-9/11 wars took their own lives.

    Makes you wonder.

    • superstarguru says:

      From what I understand, US forces had bin Laden encircled (albeit at a wide distance) as early as 2002. It seems that the Taliban even offered to hand over bin Laden the following year. Following through on this and going home would have been acceptable in my view.
      We refused both opportunities and went to war in Iraq along with staying in Afghanistan another 17 years. Beyond 2003 it became nothing more than an unfathomable bonanza for well-connected military contractors.

  148. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    can’t sleep. 1 in the morning and i can’t get back to sleep. Too many thoughts and I’ve no one to tell them to at 1 in the morning. I don’t know where to begin and how to say these thoughts and there’s never been anyone to say thoughts to anyways. Maybe sometimes in therapy. Frigging cats want to eat at frigging 1 in the morning.

  149. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    We went to Torrance yesterday to visit with my youngest son alex and his 2 kids at a park. Park with a big rocket-ship climbing structure. Barb likes to see the 3 of them, but of course, I am not a people-person and so I could have taken this visit or left it. In fact, I was slightly annoyed at having to go down there because my weekends seem short and the workweek drags on like torture and I feel like I get nothing. Every weekend, I have a malformed desire to go to the beach and swim in the ocean like I did when I was young. But the one time we went to the beach this year, on our anniversary, barb wanted to go to this expensive beach where the water was so rough I could get my old legs to even stand up even at the water’s edge. Summer’s almost gone, a hellishly hot summer in the valley that we ended up at in the final days of our lives.

  150. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Summer’s almost gone and no swimming at the beach. Last year, first year of covid, of course not. Scared out of our wits to even go outside. My moronic, pitiful life of loss. If I had ever gotten these few sentences out of my mouth in group, it would be time for some group member to interrupt me because everyone comes to group usually bursting at the seams wanting to talk. At least that is my experience. “hold on , I’se tellin’ me story” I could yell at an interrupter, but I never did. That was a line from a movie script I wrote as a teenager, about and old man in a rowboat with a black slave. Wrote and almost filmed…can’t remember and doesn’t mean shit anymore. That dream went down the toilet.

  151. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    The thing about going to visit people on the weekend… when I was a kid, my grandmother would first drag us to church and then later we would go visit old people. Old people or dead people at the cemetery, like my mother…and the father I never met. I could hear sounds of basketballs bouncing in some kid’s yard just outside the tall shrubs of the cemetery. Some kid having fun on the weekend. On a Sunday. Usually, Sunday dinner was the only pleasure I got, or maybe one of my aunt and uncle had a dog to play with. Anyway, I digress. So we met my son and his beautiful young children at the park, a really really cool breeze flowing in from the beach. I hadn’t felt such a breeze in a long while. I didn’t know if it came over the top of the rolling hills of palos verdes or from the sides where there were beaches. Luxury, seeing as how we had left our home in long beach when our sons were really young. Greener pastures, we thought. Ha.

  152. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    Anyway, I have no close relationship with my son’s kids. His wife never liked us, thought we were monsters for the abysmal way we raised him (we were monsters but that’s water under the bridge, can’t go back and do it over). So we have not seen the grandkids much in their short lives, lives where their bodies grow and grow like weeds every minute hour day and week. Barb likes people and loves those kids and had a good time with them. So I ended up talking to my son, or mostly listening to him. I had no idea why he would want to carve out a piece of his exhausting life to let us visit with him and the kids, maybe he and I had a tighter bond than I had had with his brother, when they were young. First he was talking for a long time about transistors which he had been learning about. Then he said he was depressed and I asked him why. He called his wife a cunt for breaking up their marriage. He told me her childhood story again, how her father was a drunk, and her mother divorced him, and then her mother took up with another man and dropped his future wife and her sister off with her drunken father every weekend. I don’t know why but it brought tears to my eyes, and I told my son that. I think he cares for her a lot still. Anyway, maybe I can sleep now. There is not enough pain-killer on the face of the planet for me to deal with my life of loss. What frigging ever. Only 2 or 3 more months until it gets cold in the valley. Somewhat like the south of spain. 3 meses de invierno, nueve meses de infierno.

  153. superstarguru says:

    I wonder what happened to Renee and Crystal. It’s as though they completely vanished off the face of the Earth! Don’t they like us here at the blog anymore? That would certainly make me feel bad. Has anyone filed a missing persons report?

  154. superstarguru says:

    Yeah, yeah my life is mediocre & boring. Guess I’d better run out there to work my tail off and make sure America has 17,416 strip malls instead of 17,415 so momma will be proud of me, huh?

    • superstarguru says:

      Oh! It seems as though I was badly mistaken. Googling “How many strip malls are there in the US” tells me there are 68,730 American strip malls as of 2016.
      So if I go out there and bust my balls to help build American strip mall number 68,731, what dosage of opioids will I need to counter my body being ravaged by the aches and pains of such soul-obliterating manual labor after I come home each night?

  155. Vicki says:

    We had a moderate 4.3 earthquake at 7:58 pm, centered in Carson, between L.A. and Long Beach. I was sitting in my armchair. Online, I reported I felt: Jerky lateral movement, then shaking & vibrating in a couple of directions, slight rolling, slight pause, more shaking, more rolling, pause, slight shaking before it ended. Seemed like 10 sec. or so. This exact memory replay is not perfect, but pretty close. About 3/4 along the way, a couple of light items fell off shelves. Because there was variable shaking, movement & rolling, for longer than I usually expect, I was more frightened than usual, that it might continue or get worse, as I gripped my armchair — and relieved when it didn’t. I think I am about 10 miles from the epicenter, so I am going to ask my friends in Long Beach how they felt it, as they are much closer.

    • superstarguru says:

      I was hoping some lost blog contributors would make a refreshing re-appearance to stimulate my mind and to feel excited again. I meditated and prayed for this, the Earth answered my prayers shaking Vicki with a wake-up call to stop by. Thank you Vicki.

      • superstarguru says:

        Oh, not to worry I was kidding. I’m not that far gone.

      • Vicki says:

        Ha, Guru! A younger friend who lives halfway closer to the epicenter than I do, wrote me that it was the “biggest one I’ve felt in awhile (in Lawndale)! My heart definitely started beating faster and I grabbed my dog 💛 there was a big “boom” before the shaking started”.

        Another friend much farther away wrote me, “I felt it mildly in Camarillo. No damage, nothing fell, just (as always) a few seconds of not knowing whether this is the beginning of something cataclysmic.”.

      • Vicki says:

        And my friends at Baby’s old home in Long Beach, said it was “a pretty good one here too!! Nothing fell off the shelves or anything but I HATE earthquakes. They always scare the shipt out of me. Mona didn’t really mind it but it scared Maggie.” Mona is their old dog, and Maggie is their newer dog, who I have not met yet.

        • superstarguru says:

          I remember twenty or more years ago when I first talked with dad about going out to Vivian’s place, dad would say, “Why would you want to go out to California for? The whole place will eventually fall into the ocean!”
          Perhaps dad was a simple, unwitting victim of a news media being compelling theatrical drama junkies in order to keep more eyeballs peeled to the television screen for advertising revenues. I don’t know for sure.

  156. superstarguru says:

    I’m considering hanging wooden placards on my front and rear torso areas with straps over my shoulders, much as was seen during the Depression era saying, “Will work for food. Brother, can you spare a dime?’
    Only in my case, the writing would read, “Can you spare a hug, some verbal love, and some appreciation for me? My oxytocin levels are massively depleted on a continuous basis since I only have second cousins for family and no quality colleagues to commiserate with.”
    It’s just a completely dry, wretched, loveless, and barren wasteland now.

    • superstarguru says:

      Not only the chemical issues of not being loved, but also…
      –The absurdly isolating & social fabric-tearing aftereffects of 130 words of news coverage regarding the ancient loss of my mother vs. 8+ octillion words worldwide (8,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 words) uttered about 9/11, with possibly another 400 septillion words (400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 words) recently uttered worldwide added to the cumulative pile with the recent 20th anniversary. There is no stronger message here for me that my closest relative in the world had no more meaning than an ordinary cockroach being squished.
      –A predator surrounding me, always trying to think of new and clever ways to extract me from my home so he can make his father proud since that is what his father always wanted.
      –MMPI tests telling me how brain damaged I am
      –Janov telling me how neurotic I am
      –I’m all dried out at this point.

  157. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    I hesitate to add my blurb of negative thoughts to this blog today, but what the heck. No one has to read it. You see my moniker and just skip on by. It finally cooled down a lot in the valley, pleasant enough to sit in my green overgrown backyard and listen to the heavy hum of autos filled with happy people freewaying to their happy places. I am so depressed it sucks but I figured out it is happening because I didn’t have a good cup of coffee this morn. Taco bell coffee does not beat back my doldrums so well. Or is it summer is almost gone. I have been to the beach only once this year and that was not good. Giant palm trees bursting upwards and I have no mojo to cut their fronds before they are totally out of control. Cat does poop if I give her enough miralax but the vet costs to get to that point still haunt me. Memories continue to pop up about pets I have had and their tragic ends because of my carelessness and ignorance and depression. Ok whatever f this shit. I am old and whoever tells you growing old is golden is full of it.

  158. Phil says:

    I’m glad the earthquake wasn’t the big one.

  159. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    a boy called sailboat–that kicked my depression away. something missing from my life. joy amazement i dont know what the f it is

  160. superstarguru says:

    I think it’s reasonable to say that we humans are creatures of habits, patterns, and routines. We need to have some form of routine order to our lives to help with overall stability. Neither of the two previous sentences are overly controversial, I hope?
    I’ve mentioned in the fairly recent past how I am struggling with circuitous thought patterns, or looping thoughts, and I wanted to carefully and non-invasively approach the issue since these thoughts emanate from my most delicately malleable organ of all, my brain.
    The best insight I’ve come up with so far is simply the basic human need for routine and order (as stated above) running awry as a coping mechanism, morphing into obsessive or looping thought patterns. Gretchen told me these tightly circuitous thoughts are likely serving a purpose, perhaps a bit below my conscious understanding. Maybe I don’t WANT to understand what purpose it serves because taking it away would hurt an angry, petulant child…I don’t know.
    I do see a lot of my thoughts, however valid in the absolute, are a useless albatross for my needs today.
    Simple stuff, nothing spectacular.

    • Daniel says:

      Since the word “invasive” came up, how invasive do you feel those thoughts are for you? I mean, they emanate from your “most delicately malleable organ of all”, but do they also disturb that delicate organ?

      Also, and without meaning to be invasive myself, do you mind sharing some of the contents of those circuitous thoughts?

      • superstarguru says:

        Daniel, I meant exploring myself without hurting myself. As you may know, Janov and other therapists have said self-therapy can be potentially dangerous. Something akin to repeating to oneself, “I have brain damage” 5,000 times and the poor malleable brain finally gives way. granting actual physical truth to the affirmation.
        Some of the thoughts have to do with anger from the predator and the news coverage problem for individual traumatic events. Also I was only speaking in generalities for myself, trying to remind myself to keep an eye on what I am doing every day.

    • superstarguru says:

      What’s your opinion of this book, Daniel? Must have been some reason you posted it?

      • superstarguru says:

        Who wouldn’t love being called Alice Sparkly Kat? Sounds like such a cheerful and fun name.

        • superstarguru says:

          That name might be problematic for me if I was having a major depressive episode. Who would take my feelings seriously if people said to themselves, “Oh! Alice Sparkly Kat is severely depressed”? I don’t know, just an earnest thought. Maybe names can have a deeper affectation than we realize.
          “Trump” is a powerful surname, for it subconsciously carries a meanings such as ‘trump card’ (most powerful card) in bridge among other powerful definitions of the word.
          Cards in a discard pile are almost meaningless, so would Trump have ascended to the presidency if he was named “Donald Discard” instead?

    • Sylvia says:

      By just scanning the book reviews, it seems to be a book about racism and white privilege western culture influencing the evolution of astrology. It is by a Chinese author who champions the wronged indigenous people. The opposing reviews of the book read like a Daniel/Renee debate…in my opinion.

  161. superstarguru says:

    I went to a friend’s house because he needed help making sure his cable bill was paid. It turns out that he just ignores a computer page he sees every day for his email, never reading that I had already helped him set up an auto pay system for his bills.
    I did a quick review of his bank statement to make sure his last payment went through (it did), and I couldn’t help but notice he had over $50,000 in his checking account, which is only a small portion of his overall assets..
    I had to teach this person how to use email, even how to open and close browser windows, because he has substantial cognitive difficulties. Other friends privately tell me they are amazed he ever made it through college.
    I think about my dad with his advanced math and physics degrees, struggling against casinos for a few hundred or a couple thousand bucks per month using extremely complex approaches to try to supplement a retirement that wasn’t very healthy for him.
    Just something else that infuriates me, that’s all. Life should have treated my dad better.

    • superstarguru says:

      And if I’m not vigilant, I’ll stew and sulk in anger about things like this for hours tonight. It’s hard for me to get over such outrageous absurdities.

      • superstarguru says:

        This particular friend also has numerous good qualities, so please don’t think I simply wanted to ‘trash talk’ him. He is considerate, loyal, kind, affable, and a good quiet listener who can be disciplined and hard working. Well-liked by the community, etc. It’s just when I try to help him with tasks requiring minimal cognitive resources it frustrates me a great deal, and I cannot help but to soak in some of the absurdities at that point. Reading more than a sentence or filling out application forms are a significant challenge for him.
        I’m also not wanting to take any financial advantage of him. Once in a great while when he asks me for a HUGE favor requiring many hours’ work he will throw a few bucks my way. I’ve done the same for him, paying for his help on occasion.
        It just drives me crazy when I ponder someone both semi-illiterate and well-to-do vs dad fighting in some very complex trenches for bread crumbs to a late old age.
        So yeah Daniel was right about my seeing just a bit too much of the vacuousness of materialism.

  162. Daniel says:

    Guru and Sylvia,
    I was just taken by the improbable title of the book (it feels like astrology and post-colonialism are artificially glued together), which at first sight looked to me like a particularly ridiculous epitome of US academic and popular woke obsession with CRT and postcolonial theory that verges on monomania.

    While on this particular subject, I was also taken, in a positive way, by an HBO film about European racism and colonialism. It’s called Exterminate all the Brutes and what makes it exceptional is the combination of the historical and the poetic. It’s sort of a film-essay by a man called Raoul Peck whose deep, honey-coloured raspy narration adds depth to the personal layer of the film.

    There is nothing tacky or sensationalist in this film, and the history is accurate (he was even a bit lenient when it came to the French occupation of his own country of origin, Haiti). Even the reconstructions work. I usually hate reconstructions, the kind they have on the History Channel, but Peck’s are artistic and eventually add to the overall feel of the film. My only historical criticism is the lack of comparison to prior periods of time, which makes one believe that before white people came indigenous populations lived in nothing but peace and harmony. But since this is not strictly an historical piece but also a poetic one, I don’t think it matters much.

    The film is difficult to watch at times but I think it is really good and quite rare.

    • superstarguru says:

      Well I’m surprised you didn’t read the book, Daniel. You certainly have the right of first impressions, though maybe there’s something surprising under the cover?
      I don’t really feel the mood to watch yet another racism show; I’m all played out in that department.

      • superstarguru says:

        I almost guarantee either my mom or maternal grandma would have bought that book out of amusement. The artwork, the author’s name being catchy, and a bit of history sprinkled within would likely have been very appealing to at least one of them.

  163. Vicki says:

    I do not believe I actually have any power to intervene to stop gov’t. agencies from ruining my life, but after I just made this email report to, by 3 am the noise had stopped, coincidentally, or not.

    “From 2:25am to now 2:53 am — endless fucking helicopter noise in South Inglewood, circling around and around my neighborhood, waking me and keeping me awake — I just wanted to shoot it out of the fucking sky! How can anyone get any sleep to go to work the next morning, with that shit going on all night?????? Endless crap!!! Just maddening!! Get it out of the sky — they’re ruiining the whole neighborhood !”

    • Sylvia says:

      Vicki, I bet it made you feel better, too, and not feel helpless about gov’t agency control, and that you could say your piece. My aunt used to say helicopters were used late at night, too where she lived in Stanton. They were looking for reported burglars or drug deals. Sounds like overkill. That’s as bad as cops causing wrecks chasing after alleged criminals, or just about, beings they are risking others’ well-being.

      • Vicki says:

        Thanks, Sylvia. I was also sure it was relevant that earlier, yesterday afternoon while I worked, I made some minor mistake that triggered my insane feelings. I felt I knew something I had looked up, only to not be able to find it again, shortly after. When I feel mentally jarred, and it seems crazy to me, it often just makes me nuts, I feel crazy and out-of-control, and ranting. It was bad enough I started writing down my feelings, which usually helps me move on — like when I need to work at my job. This is what I wrote (cleaned up of typos) about what I feel in the background of my days:

        “It’s Stabbing, stabbing my mind, my head with an icepick.
        such insane pain, I want to go berserk, pounding my head til I’m senseless —
        which I don’t do, but that’s the image that comes to my mind, as my head sways from side-to-side, and I try to express words to describe what I’m feeling.
        I feel it all day long, every time something erratic happens,
        making me think I’m crazy, cause I can’t fill in the gaps of my memory or knowledge.
        It’s tearing my brain apart. Cleaving my brain in two.”

        Then spent, I finished my workday, until that hell-icopter maddened me again. I felt better enough after emailing the faa, that when I tried to sleep again, the relief brought up feelings (just pain, how awful things are), howling and crying off and on for awhile, until subsiding. But I couldn’t get back to sleep for another three hours.

        • Sylvia says:

          Vicki, for sure it sounds like it is super upsetting for you to lose continuity in the task you are trying to do. I think it would bother anyone to misplace something that they absentmindedly lost for a few minutes. But it does sound like a complete meltdown as if your very life depended upon excellent cognition. The brain pain associated with it and the feeling of craziness, do you think that could be first line or birth? We can’t make sense of anything as babies and are confused at that stage very easily. Do you know what kind of birth you had–easy, long, etc.? The image of pounding your head could resonate with a birth feeling. It’s good that you got some relief by crying.

          I imagine, though there are 2nd line and 3rd line pains there, too when you say, ‘how awful things are.’

          I forget things more as time passes and I don’t like it either, but I know it is part of the aging process for me.

        • Vicki says:

          Sylvia, Yeah, I think the feeling of my brain being split or torn down the middle is very early trauma, without specifying more knowledge than I do have. Like you say, we can’t “make sense” intellectually, as babies, and would be easily overwhelmed. When I asked once, my mom and dad made comments that my birth was “easy”, and that I came out looking beautiful, that people were remarking on it in the hospital. I said but doesn’t everybody think their babies look beautiful? And they both said no, my dad laughed and said I really looked good, compared to my brother Greg (10-1/2 mos. later), who “came out looking like raw hamburger that someone had stepped in”. So I didn’t know what to think, or say, but I did know that “something happened” counter to their perceptions, and my feelings over all the years repeatedly reek of frustrated head-banging, so I continue to think that’s what happened — unless that ever changes.

          I do get relief from crying, but also from the release of howling in “horror pain” that comes first — crying comes after, and not always; for me, crying feels like on a different level, not the most primitive.

          These feelings aren’t new, but each time, they feel as if brand-new, with a new fingerprint, I think from getting more detailed and going deeper, bit by bit. Yesterday, I realized that they feel like half-awake nightmare fragments and feelings. I need to write up separately what that was about last night, then I will post it. Too late tonight to do it.

          • Vicki says:

            Sylvia, a couple nights ago, I had a feeling that made me remember something else my mom told me — that when I was a baby, I “was always unhappy”, and she “never knew what to do with me”. So that is at odds with their saying what a beautiful baby I was at birth. She also told that when she took me to the doctor’s one time, there was a very old woman all wrinkled and ugly, and whenever I saw her face, I started crying, so my mom kept trying to turn away so I couldn’t see the woman, as she didn’t want her to feel bad. She did also say that she tried breastfeeding me at first, but “it didn’t work well”, so she quickly stopped, and didn’t even try it with my brothers. The whole thing does not sound good, and part of why I have so long felt my mom should not have had children.

            • Sylvia says:

              Yes, Vicki, it does sound like something went awry. The wanting to head-bang thing means something, like you couldn’t get out easily through the birth canal, and splitting brain feeling may be something about oxygen loss. Something made you cross or unhappy and birth can be a trauma so you probably were suffering from it. I startled easily, too, like you did with the unexpected sight of the elderly wrinkled lady, though mine was from sudden noises. My mom said I screamed a lot, unlike my older brothers who were calmer in their infancy and toddler times.

        • Vicki says:

          I was reading the funnies two nights ago, and caught off-guard by one, was triggered into fear. I started saying, “I don’t want it. Get that dick away from me!” And it was some vision of a dick. And my head started turning right. But then it felt like a spoon being shoved in my mouth. And the feelings went from there.

          Something being forced on me, shoving it in my mouth. Sensation on my tongue and behind my teeth, as my head tries to turn to the right, away from it. And I keep howling in pain and fright. Swallowing against the sensation, like I can’t do anything else. I’m kind of half-in an awake nightmare.

          All triggered by that hidden reference to the dick in the cartoon: He asked what’s the difference between him and a rival, and She said, “about 18 inches”, and he said he didn’t think he was that much taller… then a long pause “…………….oh”, and then she kicked up her heels in delight. And I found myself scared and looked away and didn’t want to see it anymore. And tried to avoid even thinking about it for …maybe 5 min., distracting myself with the rest of the funnies until I was done, and started cutting the ones I wanted to keep. Which made me start howling as I remembered the one that frightened me, cause I knew I had to look at it, at the memory, but still not wanting the comic to contaminate it — it being the feeling triggered. There was fear, and naivete, and shock in it, but no clarity.

          I thought about my dad, my grandmother, my family and a man we used to visit when I was young, from my dad’s work, we had dinner there, and then it stopped, I asked my dad once about why we never went there again, and he had a vague answer. But thinking about any of them, doesn’t seem to connect, or make anything clearer.

          After some time, the horror feeling was coming again, with, “I’m so young. I’m so young.” shaking my head, “I’m so young.” Howling.

          I know a few events: My grandmother and mom forcibly gave me enemas, age three, and maybe before. As an adult, Greg told me he remembered me screaming as they dragged me into the bathroom, and hoped they wouldn’t do that to him — I barely remember that it happened, no details. My parents told me I became fat at three, when they thought I was too thin because I would not eat, they “had to force me to eat”, and after that I overate. I had to sleep with my grandmother when I was five, and she kicked me in the night while asleep, saying I had moved and kicked her and woke her. At five years old, there was also the episode I have written about before, where my parents called the cops on me and a boy in the backyard, and terrorized me, threatening jail, causing me five years of amnesia about the details. This fear was echoed at school, when some boys bullied me, threatening to turn me over to the principal, to get what they wanted, make me cry, and laugh about it. And we got hit a lot, almost every day for a two-year period, when my mom complained to my dad how awful we were — until she went to the doctor and found out she was anemic, started taking iron pills, and she stopped complaining, and we stopped getting hit. My mom would yell, call us brats that she wished she’d never had, and tell me that I was going to get beat within an inch of my life, when my father got home. More events than can be counted, really, but all contributing.

          I’m not done with this, as last night I happened to pick up a scrap of paper I might have thrown out, and it was that comic that started this whole thing, as it caught me off-guard. I started howling again, so I knew I’d have to save it, for another time.

          • Sylvia says:

            Vicki, it sounds like things are right at the surface for you–so easily triggered into a past moment. Half-in and half-out of the feeling that is an overwhelming one. Yes, save it for bit-by-bit feelings of fear and whatever is there to become conscious, for later, right?

          • Phil says:

            Wow Vicki, that’s terrible stuff, are you newly connecting with it?

          • Vicki says:

            Phil, it is terrible, but I am not sure how to answer your question, so I will just say, “No.”

  164. Vicki says:

    It’s been revealed that a memo prepared by Trump lawyer John Eastman laid out a detailed, six-step plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results and swing the election to Trump. The memo said Pence could throw out the results in seven states, declare no winner, and throw the election to the House of Representatives, where Trump would have had a majority.

    Rudy Giuliani briefed Senator Lindsey Graham on his wild claims of fraud and sent him numerous affidavits and memos while pressuring him to assist in Trump’s effort to overturn the results. Trump’s lawyers also sent memos to Senator Mike Lee outlining Mike Pence’s supposed constitutional authority to swing the results to Trump.

    The New York Times reported that Trump’s own campaign staff was fully aware that the outlandish claims of fraud being made by Trump’s lawyers were completely false — and did nothing to stop their spread.

    • superstarguru says:

      Vicki, you might have some interest in this column by Greg Olear. It details some of the background reasons why Trump has been able to escape any meaningful legal repercussions for decades on end. In short, his formula is having the swagger of a figurative mob boss while simultaneously being a confidential informant both to law enforcement and foreign emissaries on many occasions when it worked to his advantage:

    • Phil says:

      Vicki, the new norm for elections seems to be that republicans will claim fraud if they lose, based on what Trump did. They seem to be working at being able to steal elections in the future, by changing laws in multiple states making it harder to vote.
      I try not to focus on this stuff, as there’s little we can do, except vote. It looks like we’re moving towards things being way more messed up than they already were.

      • Phil says:

        I happen to be re-reading a book I have on the Russian revolution, it’s a fascinating story and a very well written book. Today I saw the opinion piece below. I don’t think we’re like Tsarist Russia, but our democratic system doesn’t seem very resilient. It’s based more on norms of behavior than anything else.

        “Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian capital in 1917. But a dozen years earlier they staged what Vladimir Lenin would call “The Great Dress Rehearsal.” That failed 1905 revolution is what came to mind for Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when insurrectionists overran the U.S. Capitol. An amateur historian, Milley told aides he worried that Jan. 6 was “a precursor to something worse down the road.”
        Whatever you believe about whether Milley overreached in his efforts to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, you should heed the Army general’s perspective on the Trump presidency, as described in “Peril,” the new book by The Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.”

  165. Margaret says:

    Reading the fourth book, I think, in the great series of Kevin Kwan’s Cracy rich Asians, ‘Rich people problems’, I had an unexpected but nice surprise.
    at some point some of the characters happen to visit Antwerp, specially to meet Axel Vervoort, as he seems to be the world’s most famous antiques seller and interior decorator.
    his castle in ’s-Gravenwezel is also mentioned as one of the most beautiful castles of the world, it is where he lives.
    the funny part is he has been my parents landlord for decades, since he bought the castle. the house where I grew up is property of the castle, and was built in 1778 .
    I remember what a kind person Axel Vervoort is, as he regularly visited my parents just for a chat , about them, about the house, about the variety of nice old things they gathered during their life.
    when my dad died in 1995 he came to the funeral, which touched me.
    we also got invited from the first time he did an ‘open house’ at the castle, so I have been in there that very first time, while back then it was not yet so crowded with posh visitors, but just a few people wandering around everywhere in that beautifully decorated and cosy old castle.
    the nursing home my mom lives in since the last few years is very close to her old house, and to the castle.
    so it was nice to read all those details in one of Kevin Kwan’s fabulously catchy books.
    and there is more, two days ago we had an item on the news that an old gin factory Axel renovated into lofts by a nearby canal, which also figures in that same book, has been sold to a famous rapper, some guy Kylie something, no idea who he is, I don’t like rap music.
    just some funny coincidences that make me smile.
    kevin Kwan’s books are great, they show the craziness of snobism and even racism in hilarious ways, written intelligently and from an inside view about the upper classes of eAst Asia.
    great reading!
    can’t put it away, have to finish it and the rest has to wait.

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, that’s very interesting about the castle. It’s hard to imagine that the house where you grew up was on its property, and what a coincidence with the book you’re reading.

  166. Margaret says:

    I was about 3 or 4 when we moved into that house.
    back then it was on the side of a narrow old cobblestone road, still dating from the Roman invasion .
    only one or two cars drove by on a day, slowly not to get damaged by the bad state of the road.
    the house was more or less still in the state it must have been in 1778 , no luxury except there was gas to cook on, no indoor toilet, no heating apart from the coal stoves my dad installed in the two main rooms on the ground floor.
    no bathroom either.
    I remember in winter time waking up every morning at the sound of dad poking up the one stove that used a kind of coal that kept it on low fire all night, so he had to mainly shake it up, noisily, clean out the ashes and put new coal on it in the morning.
    i remember sitting near it to put my cloths on and often it would suddenly give a big bang that evenmade jump up the iron weld lid on the top, when finally it got really going.
    the other stove had to be lit every morning again.
    still, the house was lovely, as it had so much personality and atmosphere, and back then was surrounded by nature, grass meadows , and huge trees and woods.
    we lived in the largest half, the right side of the house had its own door and was someone’s summer home.
    we had wooden window shutters, and thick iron bars before most windows, to keep the bandits of the 18th century out …
    a water pit on the neighbor’s side, in front, an old toilet house in front of our side, you know, wood cover with a hole with a lid…
    and spiders in every corner.
    and a nice yard, lovely memories, climbing trees, roaming through the woods with my brother, al the more exciting as it was ‘forbidden’.
    back then the castle at about half a mile still belonged to an old grumpy baronet, who chased away anyone coming too close to his liking.
    but there were sandy paths and a farm where there was free access up to the water surrounding the castle itself and its closer surroundings.
    when Axel Vervoort bought the propertty he tried to save and preserve the woods and greenery as much as possible, but by then a lot of the area had already been ‘developed’ and turned into expensive villa areas, and the quiet Roman cobble road was turned into a larger road, eating up part of our front yard, and now so busy I cannot cross it anymore on my own.
    across our old house is still what used to be a blacksmith , also from 1778 and now used on Sundays by a hiking club, my mom used to keep it open , tending the ‘bar’, very small and casual and cozy.
    just a bit further than the house is what used to be a large baking oven for bread, now a small chapel .
    So, yes, all very picturesque, and deeply engrained in my heart and memories.
    together wit all the cats and dogs and chickens etc that lived there with us…

  167. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    we spent the late afternoon with my son alex and his 2 young kids.yesterday. his 35th birthday. he is going through a heart-breaking break-up. he turned me on to this song. which of course had tears come up in my eyes. not just about his situation But this is how i feel about life. George Strait – I’ve Come To Expect It From You

    How could you do what you’ve gone and done to me
    I wouldn’t treat a dog the way you treated me
    But that’s what I get
    I’ve come to expect it from you
    A million times
    A million lines
    And I’ve bought ’em, every one
    You don’t care
    You rip and tear
    Every dream I’ve counted on
    I guess that I should thank my unlucky stars
    That I’m alive and you’re the way you are
    But that’s what I get
    I’ve come to expect it from you

  168. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    listened to this when our poor black cats was dying slowly. years ago, barb was in ohio.

    Waylon Jennings – “Waymore’s Blues” (Live at Opryland: August 12, 1978)

    not so much a sad song. i just listened to it over and over, alone with the cat and sophie the dachshund

    jeez i hate to sound stupid, i just realized sun went into libra. art and music. i usuallly dont care about music anymore but this has become one of my favorite times of the year

  169. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i just realized why we walk. chimps lost access to trees but their legs still wanted to jump up into those lost trees. so they kept trying to jump up and down, which actually led to dancing first, but the the religious chimps told the dancing chimps that god didnt approve of dancing, so chimps could only thereafter walk. this is as good a crazy theory as the next one. i go watch tv now

  170. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i need about 10 hamburgers just to get through the next 10 seconds at work, and that wouldn’t actually do me a bit of good. and then i have today and 2 more days at work, work that has become increasingly tedious and boring. thanks to the heavens i have a job. maybe they shutdown the govt, then i can work for free. i guess i will get out the boca burgers because i sure don’t feel like sneaking out and driving during rush hour. but slaves had no escape, so i am better off i guess

  171. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    the old, slowly-exiting cat wants dry food. the younger cat with the poop problem can’t eat it. i exercise outside and watch the moon in the dark sky with the frigging car-noise from the 405 in the distance. what the f does the moon mean to me. stuff like the moon turned into gods for our ancestors. i still cant figure out why. the shepherds sat under the stars or sun and knew after years of doing so, that whatever was happening locally could be correlated to whatever moon sun wind water movement was doing. and even the bacteria and fungus from the earliest time learned that. and nobody could do a thing about those physical entity’s. mother nature. dont f with it. i am only saying, when did chimps ascribe it to god. i am saying nothing and all i care about, is it is friday. f this shit. i hate reading drivel like this that i just wrote but something pushes me to express it

  172. Phil says:

    I can relate to that. At work I look up all kinds of things on the internet because I’m bored. I found found out, for example, that there are about 13 million Hungarian speakers in the world. Hungary itself only has a population of about 10 million. I’m Hungarian on my father’s side. Maybe when I’m very bored one day, I’ll learn how to say a few things in that language. I’d like to visit there some day to see what it’s like. While I was at it I learned about Romania and Bulgaria too. Hungarian is an odd language, unrelated to most other European languages. I was also investigating about dying languages. Hungarian isn’t one of them because they have there own country, and few people speak other major languages. Gaelic, the Irish language, is dying, almost dead already, as are many native American languages. Other languages have been growing quickly such as Mandarin and English. French has a good future because of the former colonies in Africa. Spanish is spoken more and more in the US. All of this I looked into yesterday.
    A few years ago I was working on my family tree with the Ancestry website. I did a lot with a two week free trial subscription. It led to meeting up with a cousin I haven’t seen in a least 50 years when I was in Seattle. I’m tempted to get a paid subscription to ancestry partly to keep me entertained at work. I’m hesitating a little on that. I’m at work to make money, not pay someone for entertainment. I could learn something new about my family history. There’s a dead end on my father’s side. Other than giving us his name, or the misspelled version of it, and that he was Hungarian, we know nothing at all about my father’s father. I could investigate some more on that, but I’m not hopeful on finding out more. I calculate I’m less than two years to retirement, if everything works out.

  173. Margaret says:

    I was thinking about joining Zoom group tonight, but I have been sailing several hours this afternoon, in the rain and with a cold breeze, about 13 degrees Celsius, so now back home I am all rosy and pleasantly sleepy.
    so no group for me, will be tucked warm in bed with the two cats by my side, have a nice group, M

  174. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    phil, 2 years to retirement? &*%$#@! good luck. anyway, you are looking at stuff related to your job, if you still have the same one as when we spoke years ago at retreat. bloodlines. it keeps you sharp and curious in your actual job. in my opinion.

  175. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    margaret, such a nice picture–warm and with cats vs. cold rainy sailing. anyway, i work now. 1 guy of the 5 in my section–he is off for 3 months with new baby. good luck buddy. but stress on me, proving that an old, drug-addled corpse can keep up with the other 3 of us 4. mucho stress. stress to infinity. my exercise equip squeaks, very hard to exercise thinking that i am disturbing next-door neighbors at 5am, who don’t like me anyway . number 1 kid says to blo (‘barb loves others’, very people-person, unlike me)–he says lets go hawaii for christmas. he knows i won’t go. please drain your last savings so beautiful person of my life–mama-san, can go for 8 days. no sweat. 8 days of freedom for me. more to say about number 1’s christmastime adventure, but i am an asshole, so forget it. i work now.

  176. Phil says:

    On Friday I got my annual work evaluation and a miniscule increase, as usual, which had me feeling good and satisfied for about five minutes. At least I can supplement that with some overtime. Lately Sundays are bad days for me. Most likely because the weekend already feels over, and/or I’m not completely satisfied with what happened on my days off. This morning I was feeling frustrated on my way to work, and it seemed to connect to baby feeling. It probably would have been more effective if I wasn’t driving. I don’t think anyone noticed that a baby was driving.

    • superstarguru says:

      So what represents a comfortable retirement for you, Phil? Primary residence paid off, $2.5 million in IRA, and $5K per month pension?

      • Phil says:

        Guru, I think I can retire at an appropriate age and not worry about having to eat cat food in the future,
        Although I do think there are some very good brands of gourmet cat food out there.
        Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food I see goes for $30.32 for a case of 24 cans, for example. I see it supports cognitive development in older cats, and I can’t see why people wouldn’t get the same benefits. Probably go good over some pasta.

        • Phil says:

          Another choice would be Smalls human grade fresh cat food, but it might be out of our price range.

          • Sylvia says:

            Phil, be sure and speak up if you are pining for a cat tree or scratching post, as my neighbor is quite generous with the hand-me-downs when her cats tired of them. Don’t think her cat beds would be large enough, though.
            S =^.^=

          • superstarguru says:

            OK, so human eat 3 pounds of food each day, and the smalls brand food is $9 per 11.5 oz….so I figure roughly $30 per day or $900 per month.
            Since the average food budget is 8 percent of income and with the Smalls diet “might” be out of your price range (in other words a borderline case), I will surmise $900/mo is slightly less than 10% of your projected retirement income.
            So it looks like you have $9,000 per month coming in for retirement soon. Pretty healthy setup, then.

            • Sylvia says:

              I think he could really save, though, with the Blue Buffalo at $32 a case that equals out to about $360 a month, or $12 a day. May as well buy tuna.

              • Phil says:

                Sylvia, What brands have you tried? What do you recommend?

                • Sylvia says:

                  Phil, the canned wet food is disgusting, I’m afraid. Fancy Feast is the richest I’ve ever bought. The kitties like cheaper Friskies Pate well enough. I can see where the Smalls brand might be good. I’ve lately not been able to get the Friskies due to the shortage. The manufacturers claim that during the pandemic more people got cats for companionship and they could not keep up with the demand of canned food. I bought a whole chicken and chicken livers to cook for the lag of can food. I might be tempted to eat some of that. Crunchy kibble is another way to go for you, Phil. I recommend Hill’s Science diet for Seniors. Though the Hill’s dog food tastes better and is more convenient to carry in your pocket for quick snacks. Alas, I have no dog any longer but a box of dog biscuits would be handy to have about for protein bar substitutes. Have fun in the pet food aisle, Phil.
                  S =^_^=

  177. superstarguru says:

    I’m really having problems with my brain running in a ‘tight electrical circuit’ when I am recalling or revisiting something important. I repeat something I said over and over and over again in my mind, even a short phrase. Repetitive words and sounds in tight circuit serving as a comforting rail to cling to. Perhaps as a semi-autistic trait.
    Because of the tight repetitiveness instead of free-flowing thoughts branching out productively, I could never accuse myself of being an artistic autistic.

    • Phil says:

      Guru, what are you feeling as you have all those repetitive thoughts?

      • superstarguru says:

        It seems to happen when I’m really REALLY worried I did something wrong in a certain momentary situation, such as a brief turn of phrase I said changing an entire important dialogue for better or worse. Key critical moments or utterances played over and over in my head
        Also it happens on occasion when I dwell on something great or funny or brilliant I did which delivered a ‘victory’ of sorts, so I repetitively savor in that.
        Michael Dell has said we should only celebrate victories for a nanosecond (yes, he really said that). Since he made $300 million in 1980’s dollars by the age of 26 before the World Wide Web even took a foothold, I figure he must be correct in having extremely truncated victorious revelries while my extended repetitive approach is obviously wastefully wrong (or maybe I’m ‘stuck’ in some strange form of brain damage I don’t understand).

        • superstarguru says:

          It must be unbelievably awesome to make hundreds of millions or billions while still in your 20’s. Even today with my being much older it would still effectively end this stupid predatorial neighborhood dynamic tormenting me forever. I could gleefully turn the predators into my pawns at that point.

          • superstarguru says:

            The Forbes list of America’s 400 richest people was just released for this year.
            You now must have a net worth of $2.9 billion just to make the bottom of the list.
            For the first time in 25 years Donald Trump is no longer on the list, being only worth $2,5 billion and not able to keep up with the rapidly increasing requirements of staying on the list.
            Oprah Winfrey has also dropped off the list.
            I still buy large cans of plain oatmeal at Wal-Mart because it’s only $2.45, sprinkle a pinch of salt and stir in 2 cups of hot water for five minutes…adding store brand peanut butter and raisins so I can save 1/5,800,000,000th of the requirement to be on the Forbes list (otherwise known as 50 cents).

            • superstarguru says:

              228 confirmed people worldwide worth $10 billion or more
              2,674 confirmed billionaires worldwide
              My personal extrapolation from this would place roughly 30,000 people at $100 million or more.

              • superstarguru says:

                Disregard my extrapolation in my previous post, for it’s not a linear increase in population with each 10-fold decrease in wealth..
                It’s probably somewhere around 120,000-150,000 people with $100 million or more.
                Anyway, it’s an absurdity I’ve never experienced so I will end it here.

                • Phil says:

                  Some people make good money blogging.

                  • superstarguru says:

                    Phil, I was mostly muttering to myself about how the idea of money has gone completely off the rails. I spent too much time droning on about it, so I stopped.
                    I will say I need to talk to more people because of something that happened a couple days ago with the predator. I talked to three different friends about it since then, but it still doesn’t feel enough,,,not resolved enough, Might be a gnawing need there for mommy’s comfort that I don’t fully understand or can deal with….then again, it truly might be something else.

  178. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    some movie credits made me think about when i stopped reading comic books as a child. i don’t remember when or why. maybe i had friends. maybe i was getting books from elementary school library. why does this thought cross my mind and why do i feel the need to express it? whatever. meaningless drivel at this point. maybe yesterday’s big rain will be the last one i see. definitely i won’t be riding my bike to school on a rainy day ever again. too bad i can’t say goodbye to my lost childhood.

  179. Sylvia says:

    I’m writing here, maybe am lost, but it is in reply to Guru’s recuperation from the “cavemen” at his door. Good for you, Guru, in standing up for yourself and feeling better today and being objective about it all in the end.

    • superstarguru says:


    • superstarguru says:

      Sylvia, my song response was likely confusing. It was just an expression of being a metaphorical soldier constantly having to assume the role of a defensive bulwark in my own home.
      Thanks for your well wishes, but I’m honestly sick of dealing with this diabolical crap (selfishly aggressive gaslighting, trickery, and other forms of low-level psychological warfare) for so many years now just to protect my living space.

      • Sylvia says:

        Yes, Guru, I got the inference of the warrior image in the song. It is a nice eery piece. I was going to post a ukelele song yesterday to go along with my comment as a practice piece for you should you wish to take up the instrument as a distraction from your troublesome concerns, though I wasn’t sure the page was working right. I will paste it below now, (hoping it works,)

          • superstarguru says:

            Sylvia yeah that did charm me a bit; there was a lot of majestic strength and power with the way she carried the “ooh, ooh’ing”. It seemed like a voice meant to be heard from a mountaintop. (Or am I just reminded of a Ricola commercial here?)
            Would be nice to have her play & sing by a simple fireside.

            • superstarguru says:

              Seems like a perfect way to soothe infants and toddlers until they start giggling again.

            • Sylvia says:

              She seems like a kind person, too. It’s admirable someone can teach, and do it in front of millions of people. Singing feels so vulnerable and I could not do it in front of anyone, even I think, if I had a good voice and could carry a tune, (which I can’t.) Maybe if there was a choir of bad voices, I would join, so I wouldn’t be the sole vulnerable one. Luckily my cats don’t seem to mind my off-key serenades.

  180. Vicki says:

    Reuters made a special report 2 days ago: Inspiration to launch the far-right network “One America News” in 2013 came from AT&T executives, and AT&T has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, whose fortunes and viewership rose amid the Trump administration. Ninety percent of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including satellite broadcaster DirecTV.

    • Vicki says:

      Trump’s loss was OAN’s gain, social media data show. OAN caters to the audience that wrongly believe Trump won the 2020 election. After Fox News affirmed Joe Biden’s victory, Trump and his camp blasted Fox, and a record 767,000 people installed the OAN app in November, nine times as many as in October. In January, Trump supporters, including at least one carrying an OAN flag, stormed the U.S. Capitol.

  181. superstarguru says:

    Many, if not most, people look at being victimized with small slights as tolerable. I think Trump knew this well & nothing serious happens for, as an example number, 224 different little sins. Finally, when the decently repressed victim becomes upset enough s/he retaliates for the latest sin, never able to address the previous 223 sins. So to a third party everything looks pristine without digging down into the pattern of previous behavior. It’s only a matter of resolving the latest problem while the bully is a ‘good person’ otherwise, never seeing those previous 223 sins.
    I suppose this is what bullies count on. Having to deal with the consequences of one sin as the price for 223 freebies, great deal huh?
    I wanted to babble this out before I forgot, because it’s important.

    • superstarguru says:

      Maybe a good term for doing the 223 unrequited bullying sins would be called ‘goodwill abuse’, or abusing tolerance. A tolerant person becomes a sucker, or mark, to the bully.

  182. Phil says:

    Siri, in my iPhone, pointed out a discrepancy to me. She says I have an alarm set even though tomorrow is Columbus Day, Indigenous People’s Day, or whatever you want to call it. I like her kind of thinking.

  183. superstarguru says:

    I’m having massively forlorn depression, mainly from dad’s gentle genius teddy bear spirit being gone forever. I listened to the “Over the Rainbow” clip a couple more times that Sylvia posted, and the “oooh, oh, ooh’ing” part just made me sad. There was just a sad forlornness to the whole thing, a sense of a final departure of a gentle, innocent teddy bear who deserved so much more out of life than I was able to give him myself. All that seems to await me now is a new, much darker chapter of life filled with selfish garbage people (a few friends and scattered likeables excluded).
    The sadness doesn’t go away on its own, thinking of the darkening cancerous shadow over dad’s life during his final year. It just feels terrible & still haunts me almost three years later, what else can I say?
    The absolute best way to improve this would be to ‘do something’ for dad….obviously not an option, so this is where I’m really stuck.
    I don’t want any psych meds. I’ll just have to deal with it on my own.

    • superstarguru says:

      Just as I often do with angry ruminations about the predator neighbor, I can just stare at a wall and stew in this depression for hours, so this is where I am at my weakest. Who would I spontaneously jump from my chair to dance and perform for, anyway? 329,999,999 Americans won’t give a shit no matter how ragged I run myself, hurriedly rushing around to please some localized individual.

      • Sylvia says:

        Guru, you are clearly depressed. There is no shame in taking antidepressants. You are in a groove that you seem not to be able to get out of. Serotnin enhancers may help you for the short term. I have taken them myself at a very low dose for a little while at times. That is what they are for, to help you, as your balance of coping chemicals has depleted , so it seems. Others here have said it has helped them, too. Please know when you should ask for a little assistance from a doctor. Psych meds sounds like heavy duty stuff, like anti-psychotics, when a little anti-depressant would do the trick. No need to over-dramatize medications.. Go see your doctor so you can feel a little better–why suffer?

        • superstarguru says:

          Sylvia, I’ve been doing a bit better these past 24 hours. I do have my depths of despair at times, don’t I? All I can vaguely say is that I make an extra effort to feel better naturally.
          I’ve ‘been there, done that’ 20 years ago with psych meds (Lithium, Prozac). There’s a gadzillion psych meds out there and I know two different people who’ve seen scores of psychiatrists and tired fifty or more different types of meds trying to find something that works best.
          Too much hassle and complications for me, so I left that all behind long ago. I don’t want to shame anyone for trying meds, though. In addition, I do drink alcohol occasionally and I don’t want to mix with psych drugs or be a complete teetotaler just to try all kinds of different psych meds.
          I’m semi-OK overall. Some days are just terribly rough and sad.
          Thanks for looking after me mama Sylvia.

          • superstarguru says:

            correction: “….seen scores of psychiatrists and tried fifty or more…”

          • Sylvia says:

            Guru, it seems you are already self-medicating with alcohol and sometimes an anti-anxiety pill you have mentioned here previously. I believe it is true that one should not mix alcohol with meds. But maybe you would not require the effects of said alcohol while taking the ssri med. I would not compare myself only to aquaintances who have struggled to take many different meds. You are disregarding the positive effects many have had with meds. There are different types of meds out there from 20 yrs ago, also. It doesn’t hurt to inquire about what is out there, now. Sometimes we have to dismiss non-flexible thinking we have in our heads in order to help ourselves. I think resistance is normal, but you have to ask yourself, with the plan you have now, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

            Mama-to-cats-only, Sylvia

            • superstarguru says:

              Sylvia, you certainly don’t deserve a trite or truncated response from me here, but I’ve run out of energy typing to Gretchen. I need a break and wander around. Will talk later.

  184. Well said Sylvia ! The problem with alcohol ( among many such problems) is that it can also have a rebound effect . At some point it can actually exacerbate those feelings of anxiety and depression. Also there are some interesting new ways of determining what medications might prove most effective. Whether you want to explore medication or not Guru just quitting alcohol, even for a little while could prove to be helpful. Gretch

    • superstarguru says:

      Gretchen, OK I’ll bite at your comment ‘there are interesting new ways of determining what might prove effective’. What are you referring to here?
      As I told Daniel a while back, I generally think of alcohol as a ‘garbage opioid alternative’, so that’s why I only mess around with it once or twice per month. If it weren’t for legal restrictions, I would likely take very small doses of opioids instead so I wouldn’t constantly feel a grim overhang all the time. Highly effective at killing off misery for a short while and you can keep your executive intellectual functions despite the obvious addiction potential.
      During the last few years of his life dad had some notable despair ay times where he would say “all my friends are dead” (not entirely true at the time) and “nobody gives a fat fuck about me” (which led me to feeling I failed him in some way). I couldn’t really be a therapist for dad; instead I tried to console him by explaining that he should not give a damn about the world not giving a damn about him. It gives the world too much power that way & he’s far more important than that.
      I can certainly see how people in nursing homes fall apart mentally when no one comes to visit them. Imagine all the world’s nursing home residents with no visitors typing out their lonely despair on this blog.

      • superstarguru says:

        I brought up the nursing home topic since most of the final few weeks of dad’s life were spent there. I would stroll through the cafeteria to see him, remembering how awestruck I was at how completely silent a hundred people gathered together in a room could be.
        I was more than a little alarmed at this grim scene, thinking “I need to get dad the fuck out of here. He doesn’t belong here at all.” It was too late already, though.

        • superstarguru says:

          The cafeteria was so quiet there might as well had been no one in the room at all in spite of its nearly one hundred occupants. A hundred empty, hollowed-out shells of people eating breakfast, their untold life stories withered away by time and declining mental functioning.
          “This is how it all ends?!?!”, I thought, “I want dad’s liveliness back, his chipper sense of humor….not this endless grim field of silence.”

          • superstarguru says:

            This is strictly self-therapy, not trying to impress anyone or anything. Please don’t read this if you don’t want to:
            That deathly vault-like silence of the cafeteria cast such an alarming pall over me since it was the complete antithesis to dad’s favorite hangout: the steady murmurs & camaraderie with his casual everyday friends at the low-stakes casino table games layered with sweetly musical chimes of slot machines in the background.
            That cafeteria fully brought home to me the realization of how dad being helplessly isolated in a nursing home would kill him quickly (and it basically did). He still had salt-and-pepper black hair in his eighties and he simply didn’t belong there. I couldn’t take him home on my own to care for him 24/7 bedridden with a fractured thigh without tearing myself apart in the process no matter how urgent the situation was.
            He was still mentally clear for most of that time urging me to “take care of yourself, I’ve had my time”
            Clawing away at the disgustingly horrid moral dilemma of “either care for dad or care for myself” during those final few weeks is one of the crappy underpinnings of my depression.
            I felt like a completely evil piece of crap leaving dad in that nursing home.
            Then…an emergency with his thigh exploding in size happened demanding a trip to a more specialized hospital for a blood transfusion and nursing home stay 100 miles away.
            I would talk to dad on the phone, “Get me out of this place”
            Now there was an added issue of arranging a 100-mile ambulance ride home on top of bed setup, bedpan setup, medical supplies. clean sheets…
            Overwhelming, and this is where I finally gave up and asked the cousins to help me through this nightmare.
            I can’t help but dwell on this. It grimly snuffed out a large part of me.

            • superstarguru says:

              The more I think about it….
              I know medical science makes it a high priority to extend lifespan as much as possible, even when measured in terms of days.
              I really believe both dad and I would have been much better off if he had simply walked out to his car in the parking lot after a pleasant day chatting with buddies at the casino and quietly expired at the steering wheel before turning on the ignition instead of having his leg self-fracture from cancer that night..
              Yes, his life would have been shorter by 2-3 months but everything would have been much cleaner, neater, and simpler that way.
              Having a long, drawn out agonizing journey to dying with all its attendant moral dilemmas is a highly traumatizing road to nowhere.
              I really believe dad would have emphatically agreed with me here since we were already on good terms with lots of hugs and not many things left unsaid.

              • Sylvia says:

                We hear your pain, Guru. It feels like a normal reaction you are having. I recall your dilemna. I’ve felt some guilt too, from not visiting my mom enough in the nursing home, as I was ill with health problems and months of stress dealing with the dementia prior to her moving to the nursing facility. I just turned all decisions over to my brother. It’s too bad we cannot know how we and our loved ones will one day go. We don’t even want to think about it. It is hard to accept it all suddenly, and the pain we see our loved ones experience. Maybe more primitive cultures have something over us without all of our medical attempts and interventions to treat fatal illnesses in the aging.

                Take care.

              • Phil says:

                Guru, it was terrible what happened to your dad. I think you did your best for him under the circumstances.
                Therapy, to me, is better than medications . Alcohol is no good, even weed is better. A lot of people get benefits from it. Apparently it’s important to find the right variety. It has fewer side effects than some other drugs.

                • superstarguru says:

                  Thanks aunt Sylvia & uncle Phil for your great feedback.
                  I will contact you soon, Sylvia, about this as I have a question I want to ask.
                  And, Phil, yes pot is a strange drug with numerous varieties. Perhaps it’s hypocritical for me to have had a fair bit of experience with the drug (mostly in years past) while refusing psych meds. Most varieties, usually sativas, would give me deep panic attacks (“I’m gonna die!”) while indicas seemed better.
                  Janov said in his earliest ‘Primal Scream’ book that pot bends the defense system while LSD blows a hole in it. A reasonably sensible observation overall, I think.
                  With pot making me severely panicky being simply an amplification of an unusually scared and insecure child.
                  I did reach some closure today regarding my dad. The sadness is still there, yet I’m not quite as self-recriminating about any errant decisions I made after his leg fractured. I’ll always feel terrible for him; the poor man never hurt a fly.

  185. superstarguru says: (LINK)
    Explaining how things would have been better for us both had dad died while still fully functional reminded me of 30 year-old Brittany Maynard’s gut wrenching, but extraordinarily courageous decision to die with dignity before cancer claimed it. These are terrible situations no one wants.
    I can think of so many assholes who could use this dose of supreme humility, but I digress.

  186. Hi Guru, There is genetic testing being used to help determine which anti depressant might be most effective. I am not an expert on it but I know it’s being used quite often now. Personally I don’t advise using alcohol or pot to self medicate. I think it can be risky for numerous reasons.. Gretchen

    • superstarguru says:

      Gretchen, I will look into the genetic testing as you mentioned. Not guaranteeing I will take it farther than that, but I’m curious enough to look.
      Is there a reason you don’t advise marijuana? Phil seems to say it’s good stuff and I’m not a stranger to it, though I don’t use very often anymore. Isn’t it a natural ingredient like fruits and vegetables? The drug can be taken in edible form if smoking it is a concern for the lungs.

  187. Daniel says:

    Sorry to hear of your anguish, Guru. I’m with Phil – why turn to medication, self or prescribed as a first response? Your comments are filled with pain, guilt, remorse, and helplessness, in my opinion all in dire need to be felt, expressed and talked about with other human beings. Why not join the Zoom group, or schedule some phone sessions, or even seek out a therapist or a group around your own neck of the woods? Substance may be used to anesthetize pain but will do nothing to expand your mind and soul to find some meaning in all this suffering and sorrow, the way true therapeutic interactions and facilitation might.

    It would not come to you as a surprise that it also takes me back to a previous discussion we had about finding a partner and even more so investigating the emotional (as distinct from the physical) barriers that stand between you and true companionship.

    • superstarguru says:

      Daniel, I definitely appreciate all your expressed sentiments and I do see how a faraway impartial reader would see the urgent feelings reading my comments leading one to surmise I need more work done. I should point out that I already did a lot of valuable work yesterday and the day before.
      In a very real sense, the talking I needed to do is done for the moment; my depression had lifted slightly when I could delve into all the gritty details of what I was going through after dad’s internally generated leg fracture. Yes, it was awful. Yes, it needed more discussion. Homing in on the final three months of his life was exactly what I needed to do to naturally improve my current mental state a bit.
      The critical juncture to serious trauma for me was the leg fracture. I’m at peace with everything I did before that. I even prepared meals and smoothies for dad with natural ingredients designed to fight cancer, such a southwestern bean salad with brussels sprouts chopped into quarters, the pieces being allowed to rest for 10 minutes to allow cancer-fighting compounds to unfurl from their compacted states within the vegetable ( I even spent some time growing broccoli sprouts for him, a huge source of sulforaphane.
      So yeah everything I did before the fracture was fine; I just had a lot of trouble second-guessing my actions after the fracture. I just needed to realize that the situation was largely beyond my control at that point and to forgive myself for anything I might have done wrong beyond that point.
      I wanted to naturally tackle some of the underpinnings of my depression and in that regard the last few days were successful thanks to the blog.

      • superstarguru says:

        In deference to the atheistic leanings of many within this community, I understand how my phrase “natural ingredients designed to fight cancer” within a mindless vegetable would be a loaded statement lead to significant derision about the idea of an intelligent designer, so I will re-phrase it as “serendipitously possessing known cancer-fighting compounds”. That should make everybody happier now.

  188. superstarguru says:

    This is a fascinating reference page about wealth percentiles in the US.
    To be in the top 1% of US households in terms of net worth, you must have $11 million in assets as of 2020.
    Fully 10 percent of US households are dead broke, with a net worth of zero or less.
    25 percent are worth less than $10,000.
    11 percent of US households are millionaire households.

  189. Margaret says:

    I agree with Phil.
    I think you have done the very best you could under the circumstances.
    sometimes we just have to accept the sadness of a situation we can’t entirely solve, I feel that way about my mom’s situation, even while I do my best, and as a matter of fact, also abbout my own having to live with the loss of most of my sight and half of my hearing.
    I make the best of it and do ok, but still when I think of all the visual input I miss out on it hurts badly.
    no escape though, but making the best of this reality…
    thanks for sharing this part of the story with us, it touched me to read it.

    • superstarguru says:

      Margaret, thanks for your feedback & I’m glad you derived some personal utility from it.
      It may have seemed strange for me to suddenly switch to a posting about US household wealth after all I said about dad, but there was a deeper reason for that.
      If I was in the top 5% of household net worth (ie. a multi-millionaire) I would have taken these steps:
      –Take dad home immediately after discharge from the hospital visit for the leg fracture
      –Keeping dad away from the nursing home, I would have hired a small battalion of in-home care specialists and nurses to attend to him 24/7
      –Arrange for a few final casino trips for him even though he would have been in a wheelchair at the time. All his friends would have been glad to see him, anyway.

      This boils down to more self-recrimination about why I didn’t become a huge financial success while dad was still well so I could have taken those steps I mentioned above & he could have died a little happier that way, perhaps even living a bit longer from having brighter spirits during the final months..

      • superstarguru says:

        With the help of my cousins I did manage to get him home for his final week, so it was better than nothing, I guess.
        He was thankfully aware enough to know he had returned home.
        I’m sorry I cannot discuss your own situation more directly at this time, Margaret. I simply cannot muster the needed energy to be emotionally present for others very well.
        I’m afraid I’m not an emotionally altruistic superhero, though I do appreciate everyone being concerned about me. I’m certainly grateful for their concern.
        Too many other self-interested assholes I have to tangle with, perhaps even myself included for sheer mental survival and stability reasons.

  190. Margaret says:

    that is no problem at all, I did not need any reply about what I wrote about my situation, I just mentioned it as a personal observation .
    I attended Zoom group yesterday and it was nice to be able to express myself there and to be heard and responded to.
    I was tired and dropped out after 3 hours as it is evening here when it starts, but still it was as always a fine group.

    • superstarguru says:

      Margaret, I wanted to raise another issue you brought forth a while ago when you suggested I find a pet.
      Therapeutically speaking, based on the situation I’m in now with only second cousins for family, it would be better to perceive me as the needy, stray puppy needing a good home.
      Yes, I’m the discarded stray puppy now.
      Pets are not an option for me, and it would be better for a while if I was someone else’s pet in all honesty, at least for a while.

  191. superstarguru says:

    I’m already housebroken, I can readily accept petting, I don’t bite, and I’m not extremely high-maintenance such as Gail Posner’s $3 million dog Conchita (LINK) or, for that matter, Leona Helmsley’s $7 million dog Trouble (LINK).

    So…what’s not to like about having me as a human pet, huh??

    • Phil says:

      Well, you may need to be “fixed” if you want to be someone’s pet.

      • Sylvia says:

        True, Phil, I just made an appt. for a cat to be neutered. There are vouchers available that defray some of the costs. Also rabies shot is a good idea for those ‘pets’ who live outside. And of course the tipping of the ear at the time of surgery is usually done when you trap and release so the pet does not wind up at the vet’s again by mistake, a neighbor thinking the pet needs to be neutered. There are dog traps, too that might fit a person who is reluctant for those vet trips. Neutering does tamp down on the aggression, and they do seem more mellow. But then food and shelter can be counted on, so it sounds like a win situation for someone.

        • superstarguru says:

          My aggressively trying to create a litter would be the very least of my owner’s worries. I’m far too exhausted and worn down by life overall for that. No ‘fixing’ needed. My feed bills might equal that of a Bullmastiff or St, Bernard’s, though.
          The fact that hyper-rich people can bequeath multiple millions of dollars for the care and shelter of animals while humans are not afforded such a guarantee (such as through a universal basic income) tells me there’s something gigantically wrong with our society.

  192. superstarguru says:

    Bleh, my last post went through twice due to WordPress glitch. Pets are never perfect.

  193. David says:

    Was rewatching a past years Chomsky/Krauss conversation. I am always impressed by how Chomsky dwarfs allcomers, just by being Chomsky, not, ” manufactured,” authoritative by being a student of fact, not ideologies of infantile religions or political dogma and tropes, nor ego. No need to bully nor manipulate, when struggling to have truth be the guide. Must be terribly threatening to those who come from the opposite perch.
    So few such giants….

    Then the almighty algorithm suggested this latest Chomsky gift:

    presented by
    McMaster Humanities
    Noam Chomsky, Rethinking the Civic Imagination and Manufactured Ignorance in a Postpandemic World, youtube:

    • superstarguru says:

      Hi David, I’m glad you still come back to the blog when you are able, but I wanted you to know many people may be reluctant to sit still for an hour-and-a-half long video. Might be best to provide a few “Cliffs Notes” for readers who are easily distracted or ‘on the go’.
      I do know Noam Chomsky is well-regarded overall, at least from my limited understanding.

    • Sylvia says:

      David, that was a great talk. What a wise man. If political history was taught like that in high school it could really involve and inspire the young people in changing the country for the better.

  194. Phil says:

    I thought I’d report here on some important old feelings I had tonight, as this is a good place to do that. After talking to one of my buddies and then practicing on the saxophone, I felt some sad feelings coming out.
    It was confusing, I thought it would be about my mother, as usual, but it was my grandmother who
    popped into my head. And, I didn’t want it to be about her. But I did need her in my childhood, she’s who I ended up having. So, in that sense, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
    It was shocking because I have never seemed to feel anything about her over many years.
    Mixed in was some anger, which is always there coming out after a while with this feeling. It’s become much clearer what the anger is about. It’s that I wanted my grandmother to go away, I didn’t want her. She stepped in because my mother was sick, and there’s a key moment in my memory when this happened.
    I wanted her to go away, and then I wanted my actual mother, not her.
    I rejected my grandmother, she wasn’t who I wanted. But I ended up having her, and I did need her,
    and I felt a little of that tonight.
    She was never what I would call motherly, there were no hugs at all coming from her, no sitting on her lap, nothing like that. But none of that happened with my mother either, as far as I remember,
    and yet I was attached to her, and not my grandmother. The meaning of this big feeling is becoming clear.

  195. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    let me get out a quick rant here. i work 40 hours a week at home. the job has become excruciatingly boring and stressful because some new master butthole has come into the company and pushed for our increasingly difficult jobs. to get harder. harder for me, 70 years old i should be out enjoying what little life i have left. but no

  196. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    OBVIOUSLY THERE’S A WOMAN INVOLVED. a kind thoughtful sweet woman who people and animals love. right. take out the trash. slowly i turned. step by step. sorry, shut your ears and eyes or stop reading. but what a dumb mfing dipshit. i always take out the trash. i am not a sweet loving husband but wtf. give me a break. what a dumb shit. my harsh words may come back and bother me tomorrow. but jesus f’ing christ. lets go live in ohio, its cheap there. give me a break.anyway, great full moon in aries. 2 more days to go until weekend, so i can drive her to get her expensive haircut that she would still get if we retired and had little money. i dont touch her at all. she doesnt touch me. what am i saying here? maybe i let her pull the wool over her eyes for too long. she get 12 hours of sleep a day iget 7 at moszt. no wonder she is so happy.

  197. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    2 old farts me and her, taking our blood pressure and watching medical shows so we can think about dying. sweet. fights dont last long any more.

  198. Margaret says:

    last Tuesday i visited my mom together with my half-sister, and it turned out there was a musical animation in the cafeteria.
    a family member of one of the residents came to play the accordion, so the cafeteria was full of interested listeners, including my mom and us.
    it was nice, and at some point my mom felt like dancing, so first my sister and then me danced with my mom.
    despite her back pain she really enjoyed it, and my sister made a little video of me happily dancing with my almost 91 year old mom.
    she is amazing, instead of just some kind of a slow polka she decided she would do a slow rock ad roll turn, haha, so that is what she did
    I hope I can show the short video in group, holding my iPhone in front of the camera.
    it will be a cherished memory for ever for me, one of these unexpected happy events of fun and closeness, music and dancing with my mom…

  199. Margaret says:

    [video src="" /]

  200. Phil says:

    Margaret, It’s a great video but it looks like I can’t share it here. I’d have to upgrade my wordpress account so I could upload it to my site.

    • Vicki says:

      Margaret, I enjoyed seeing this video of you and your mom! It looks like a nice place, and upbeat. A few others were dancing, with a little effort to get others to join.

  201. Phil says:

    I think that works. It’s a youtube video address copied to my wordpress site, and then copied here. I don’t give up easily.

  202. Margaret says:

    thanks, you’re great!
    I tried the link and got to the spot where the video gets mentioned , not sure whether it was a WordPress page, think so, but I got tangled up in the requirements for signing in and gave up.
    i have the original video anyway but was curious to try your link and maybe seeing it on my laptop instead of on the phone.
    probably it will be easier for the other bloggers to open it, it is me dancing with my mom last Tuesday, in the nursing home where someone gave an accordeon recital.
    it was so nice to have this kind of fun with my mom!
    she will be 91 next month!
    hope you guys can see it, thanks again Phil,
    Margaret and mom…

    • Sylvia says:

      Margaret, how delightful. It looks like a festive time for everyone there. Such a warm feeling there between you and your mom dancing to the music. Something to be cherished, indeed. It feels like, too, that the residents are well-looked after by a caring staff. Thank you for sharing this.

      • Margaret says:

        I am all smiles by reading you managed to see the video.
        thanks for your nice words, these moments are indeed to be cherished , specially as my mom was already given up by the doctors about two years ago…
        she is still doing pretty well isn’t she?
        I am about to give her her evening call and will visit her again on sunday with my brother.
        the weather will be ok so we will be able to go for a nice walk, with the wheelchair at hand when my mom prefers to ride a while.

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, its a great video of you and your mom. It looks like she’s in a very nice place, well taken care of, by the staff, and by her family.
      You have another comment about it, but it’s on my blog, my very first comment! But I don’t really use it, only to transfer material here. So I hope that person, will repeat the comment here.

  203. Margaret says:

    haha, just talking with my mom on the phone, she asked me how old she was, and as always was very surprised at hearing she will be 91 next month.
    her first response was ‘ok, then I should be careful!’ and then she immediately changed her mind and corrected:’no, then I can do anything I like!’
    which says so much about her and her good spirits and lust for life!

  204. Vicki says:

    Excerpts from: “Why even fully vaccinated older people are at high risk for severe COVID-19”

    “Mounting data suggest that older people are at higher risk of severe disease from a breakthrough infection of COVID-19… News broke on October 18 that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had died after contracting COVID-19. Powell was 84, but” also had “multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells.” as well as Parkinson’s disease.

    “But in addition to the immunocompromised, health officials are seeing worrying evidence that older age groups continue to be at higher risk from the pandemic. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 65 account for 67 percent of hospitalizations and 85 percent of deaths from breakthrough cases.”

    “recent reports from Seattle and the UK show that older vaccinated people face similar—and, in some cases, greater—risks of severe disease than unvaccinated children.” … “If you’re under 45, your chances of dying are almost nonexistent, and then it increases exponentially.”

    “Scientists who study aging say it likely has to do with some of the hallmarks of getting older. For example, the human body normally clears away cells that have become damaged due to disease, injury, or stress. But as the body ages, this process becomes less efficient, and it starts to accumulate so-called senescent cells, which are damaged but won’t die. These cells secrete chemicals that damage neighboring healthy cells and trigger inflammation. Senescent cells thus weaken the body and make it harder to fight off infections.”

    “Among older people, he says, there are two broad abnormalities of the immune system: a hyperactive innate response, and an underactive adaptive response.” Innate immunity is the defense system you were born with…. When that response is inappropriately intense, as happens in older people, it can trigger a cascade of damage throughout the body, from the lungs to the heart to the kidneys.” “The adaptive immune response targets a specific invading pathogen. Vaccines provide a preview of the germ and teach the body how to create antibodies that recognize and latch onto a virus and block it from entering any of the body’s cells.” … “If the amount of virus is small, the antibodies and T cells can easily defeat it. … A larger viral force, however, can overwhelm the adaptive immune system. ”

    “… age can dampen the effectiveness of some vaccines. …a third of people over age 70 don’t respond at all to the flu vaccine, which is why it still kills a disproportionate number of older Americans every year.” But “responses to COVID-19 vaccines have been a lot stronger. … in September the CDC reported that the vaccines are only about 78 percent effective at preventing infection among people of all ages after six months.” … ” data from the United Kingdom show … vaccinated people over 60 died from COVID-19 at higher rates than unvaccinated people under 50.

    But “it’s much more important to compare the risks among unvaccinated versus vaccinated people no matter their age. These data clearly show that everyone benefits from a vaccine: In the U.K., for instance, the death rate for unvaccinated adults is several times higher than it is for vaccinated adults in every age group. … the Pfizer vaccine remains 90 percent effective at preventing hospitalization, which shows that it remains a solid defense against severe disease and death.”

    “Getting vaccinated really puts things on your side. Think about it as a war where you want to have all the ammunition that you can possibly have.”

  205. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    sweet, margaret! and phil..
    margaret you really care about mom!

  206. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    sad dream, i guess. damn cats kept waking me up all night long. anyway, i was focused on something and i look over at barb and she was sobbing uncontrollably. she was looking at a picture on the wall, of herself as a child, doing whatever. maybe this is my feeling of loss about my youth, or maybe i detect it in her voice every day, in her voice or maybe not at all. her loss of childhood. i dont know what. she is always so happy. it seems to me, anyway. one of us will die on the other and really face an unbelievable loss. we might have saved each other’s lives by getting together, but i, for one, have been just about as unemotionably-able and distant as the world has ever seen for 4 decades.

  207. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    one more thing, before i go drive barb to her haircut. some atmospheric river pushing through california, los angles might be getting a little of tha push. or coolness, finally heat has died down, , winter, fall air or who knows what allowed me to finally get stuff done today. cut off live palm fronds before tree gets so tall my neighbors will complain and landlady will kick us out. it might kill the tree but i had no choice. i couldnt sleep well and i was panicked about doing it. i has to nail my saw to a long pole and also use gorilla tape to reach the branches at top. the blue jay squawked to say he noticed the difference. i got the cat to shite. something else, but only importance is, cool weather will only last 4 months, and i need to make hay–whatever that saying is. i cant breathe well a few days now, but i think the air is still bad or my lungs and heart are going. maybe long-covid impact from my booster.

    • Sylvia says:

      Otto, maybe keep an eye on the effects of the booster. I’ve been reading and watching videos about the shots. Because they don’t usually pull back on the needle to see if blood is in the syringe, they don’t know if they are hitting a blood vessel. Some of the vaccine can get into the circulatory system and not just the muscle and can affect the heart. Hopefully, though, your breathing will get better with a little time.

  208. superstarguru says:

    There are way too many medical emergencies and people clinging precariously to life to have enough room for avaricious asshole billionaires and centi-millionaires parasitically draining off as much power and wealth as they can from society for themselves. It’s fucking absurd, but money’s the only language our society seems to speak, so I have to play along with the absurdity.

  209. Margaret says:

    hi Vicki,
    glad you enjoyed the video!
    in my mom’s ward there is a resident, now in a wheelchair and gradually losing more and more capacities, who used to play in a band, accordion and other instruments and singing.
    now his son has a new girlfriend who plays the accordion very well and she was the one performing.
    it was a great success, she played all kind of old songs so people could sing along as well.
    and dance, smiley.
    my mom is very keen on dancing, even now at almost 91.
    it is a good nursing home, used to be a convent, nice garden with huge trees, and now it is a non profit association, so any money goes back into activities, or animals like the three alpacas they also have.
    it is not perfect but much nicer than any other home we visited.
    mom usually has a little cry in my arms when I arrive, which I let her have, and quickly after that she brightens up.
    the word ‘walk’ always does the trick as she loves to be outdoors.
    it is so nice I could share ab bit about her, thanks again Phil!