Monday, October 30, 2017

Spaced Out

Herself speaks.

I thought I had reached the pinnacle of rage-overload from the politics of today, but found myself enraged anew today.

By whom? Actor Kevin Spacey.

Mr. Spacey responded to the revelation of another actor, Anthony Rapp -- who was subjected to an inappropriate sexual advance by Mr. Spacey when Mr. Rapp was fourteen years old, and Mr. Spacey 26 -- in a manner that not only was a self-serving non-apologetic "apology", but also will be harmful to the LGBT community.

Here, you can read it in all its self-centered glory, before you move on to my diatribe:

Shame on you, Kevin Spacey, for conflating "gay man" with "assaulter of teenage boy". The two have nothing to do with one another, and by mentioning them together in a pseudo-apologetic statement (and simultaneously hiding behind the excuse of drunkenness), you have provided fuel for homophobic vitriol. And you have provided further ammunition by stating that you "choose" to live as a gay man -- as if one's biological drive is somehow a choice. You have fed into every single one of the oft-cited and thoroughly erroneous reasons for discriminatory and violent treatment of gay men. You are disgusting.

Shame on you.

Edited to add: here's a great assessment of Mr. Spacey's statement:

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Today's earworm: Skin, by Rag'n'Bone Man.

Watch the video.
There are days when the idea of being that sole person in the landscape is oddly appealing.

I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tiny Rose

I felt this plant should come home with me. Let us hope it survives my ministrations. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fly Away

A sure sign that it is officially autumn: the hummingbirds have disappeared. It has been several weeks now since one has graced the back yard. Where do they go, I wonder?

Be safe, tiny birds. See you in the spring.

In earlier days.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Rocky the hamster made a new nest in his exercise wheel. Why, Rocky?

Fortunately, he has a second wheel, in case he feels like taking a spin.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Today's earworm: Dirt On My Boots (Jon Pardi).

It's quite sweet, I think.

We hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 23, 2017


I have many thoughts about this sign - the primary one being, I have never seen such a sign advising patients that they will be seen by a male doctor.

Still, for the target population of this office -- older patients accustomed to male doctors, especially in the realm of urological issues -- the sign is no doubt helpful. 

And on a positive note: there was no sign of additional kidney stones in my recent scans.  I am free from follow-up on this particular issue for five whole years,  and am quite glad of it. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Beautiful Trauma

Herself speaks.

P!nk, one of my favorite pop stars, has a new album out, titled Beautiful Trauma.

The music is excellent. The title annoys me.

There is nothing beautiful about trauma. The idea that we are somehow made better, spiritually or otherwise, by undergoing pain and difficulty is a fallacy that we tell ourselves to help us to get through arduous circumstances. 

We don't get a medal for suffering. We get nothing, except for suffering.

I am currently coordinating medical care for myself. I've reached an Age and state of health where there are certain physical systems that warrant periodic preventive/maintenance care, and there are other physical systems that (at the moment) spontaneously require additional care. It is frustrating for a number of reasons, the very least of which is the amount of time and mental energy and phone calls required to get everything lined up properly without conflicting.

(I do feel compelled to say as a side note that I am grateful for the health insurance I have. I am, very much so. Yet thoughts that "other people have it worse health-wise" or "other people don't even have insurance," though correct, do not much mitigate my current state of annoyance and frustration at all the minor bodily issues I am encountering. Perhaps this is self-centered thinking. Ultimately, though, this is about self -- the body I inhabit.)

I tend to want to avoid problems -- especially physical complaints -- in the hopes that they resolve themselves on their own. Sometimes, they do. Sometimes, they don't. And I have to fight against a strange yet deeply-ingrained idea, that to admit to a need for medical care is somehow a failure, a sign of personal weakness. To be vulnerable, especially physically, is so very intolerable a thought, that I push to the limits of my acceptance of things that aren't quite right, or are uncomfortable.

I have decided, though: enough.

I will put aside my fears of having to explain myself to a stranger with a stethoscope, in order to maximize the help this body gets. This body is not without flaws; yet the discomforts and questions of this body are deserving of comfort and answers, and it is up to me to do the best I can to find both. No one else can, and no one else will.

Once more unto the breach.

I will let you know how it goes.

I could really use a hug.

Hugging creatures found here:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Onerous Tasks

Herself speaks.

Today, I addressed errands/tasks for three of the four other people in the household, plus one of the dogs: the bank, a series of onerous phone calls, the pharmacy, and the vet's office. Tomorrow, I will tackle an errand for the fourth person in the household, plus follow-up on some of today's tasks: a different pharmacy, a different bank, more phone calls.

I do not undertake these chores for my household members begrudgingly. As the person who pays the bills and keeps track of medical information (both human and canine), I am best suited for these tasks. And I do, truth be told, derive a certain sense of satisfaction in being helpful to my Important People. Can I ease someone's burden by undertaking a chore for them? I am all over that. 

I confess, though:
I wish I had someone like myself to undertake onerous tasks for me.
And I wish I were comfortable asking someone to undertake such onerous tasks.

The people nearest to me are all limited in their own ways -- time, availability, other Valid Reasons for being unable to assist. I do not hold it against them. They help when they can, if I ask: the floor gets mopped, the dishwasher emptied. I still must conduct the organization and the delegation. Someone must keep track of It All, and I am that Someone.

Just the mental labor is tiring.  Yet, it is all part and parcel of being a responsible adult.

Sometimes, I wish for a reprieve from being the responsible adult.

Somewhere, in some mythical land, there is someone -- a house elf? -- who anticipates what needs doing, and handles things quietly in the background, and lo and behold things would get done without my assistance or direction.  It would be a magnificent relief not to have to keep track, to plan, to make lists, to point out what needs doing, to follow through. Aaah. That would be lovely.

Perhaps I should check the wardrobes for doors to Narnia. One can always hope.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lovely Lichens

It is nearly time to spend a weekend in a forest once more. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Slow Hands

Tonight's earworm: Slow Hands (Niall Horan). Something new we've just found.

We hope you enjoy.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Eve

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.” ― Aristotle

House empty, lights off --
Everyone is out tonight
'Cept me, and the dogs

A lonely relief --
Nobody needs things from me,
No one to talk to.

“Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Broken Wings

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It's a Fine Crop of Lizards

They are quite large and succulent this year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Herself speaks.

This past weekend, Cherished Friend, Beloved Husband, and I took a very pleasant hike in the nearby desert. So refreshing to be out in the open air, with the ocotillo and the rocks and the blue sky. We spotted a very nice lizard, and also a beautiful snake warming itself on some rocks. Nice.

I put on sunscreen before we left, and again halfway through. The sun is bright, and I am a pale person; also, I had scheduled my annual visit with the dermatologist for the day after the hike, and did not want to arrive at my appointment with a sunburn. That's just wrong, somehow. 

The physician's assistant is a kind and gentle-spoken woman who never makes me feel self-conscious about skin aberrations. I brought to her attention that one spot -- near the tip of my nose, of all unfortunate places -- that I've been watching with a little bit of trepidation. I'd had an actinic keratosis (AK) in that location a few years ago, addressed by liquid nitrogen. (I'm becoming rather used to the occasional freezing-of-problematic-spots at the dermatologist's office.) The spot was, somehow, once more not quite right. It was subtle, but it was noticeable, both to me and to her under her hand-held magnifying light. Recurrence of the AK? Or something else?

She recommended biopsy. And so that's what we did. It will take a week to ten days to get the results, and then we will know whether another MOHS surgery will be necessary. If I had to guess, I think it's likely. 

I am trying to remain sanguine about the situation: best to tackle things now, before they get worse. I'm not particularly vain -- much too old for that nonsense -- yet having a surgical scar right across  my nose will be... unsightly at first, to say the least. Alas. But what else can I do? 

We shall see what happens.

Oh, to be a snake, who can sun herself without fear.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Officer Down

Herself speaks.

I was going to sit down yesterday and write about the pleasant weekend, but was sidetracked by a call from Offspring the Third.

"I'm OK, but..."

Before I could even imagine which particular terrible thing would follow the but, he continued:

"There's an active shooter on campus, and we're on lockdown."

Ye gods.

I knew, based on his call and his indications of exactly where he was and what security precautions he had in place, that he was safe for the moment. Nevertheless, what we did not know was: who was the shooter? How were they armed? Who were the targets? How much danger was there, really? How many of Offspring the Third's fellow students were in danger? And what of the conflicting reports that were coming out -- was the shooter near the dorm next to Offspring the Third's, or near a farther-away building? Both were reported to the students. Better safe than sorry, to give those near either building more motivation to move quickly and a better chance of finding safety.

News services were slow to pick up on the story -- most likely, because it developed so fast, and then was handled expediently. We got most of our reports when Offspring the Third notified us by text each time they got word from the campus emergency services:

Update one officer killed. Mobile command center deployed. So far the SWAT team and all kinds of other police have rolled up. Right now I am still in my dorm with all the lights off. For now he has not been caught but a suspect has been named.

Then, about an hour after his call:

Update the shooter has been apprehended and the all clear has been sounded. Right now it's still recommended to stay indoors which is what I'll do.

He said later that he was "jarred, but would be OK."

I don't have words for how dismayed I am, that this has become the reality of everyday life.

You can read the story here:

I think about the slain officer, and wonder what he was like (the officer has, as of this morning, been identified by at least one news source as Floyd East, Jr.). No doubt his family waved goodbye earlier that day, assuming that campus police activities would be relatively safe as usual and that they would see him home later. And kudos to the rest of the officers, who handled such a terrible situation quickly and prevented any further loss of life.

Rest in peace, Officer East. Thank you for your service. I am so sorry that your time was cut short so carelessly and needlessly.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Oh, Vegas

We awoke this morning to news -- fifty-eight dead. Over five hundred injured.  "The deadliest shooting in modern US history."

There is no picture sufficient to tell the tale, no words adequate to express the horror.

It could have been any of us. Our children. Our friends. Ourselves.

God help us.

Sunday, October 1, 2017