Monthly Archive: November 2006

My friend, Pam, is going away for a while.  The time frame is indeterminate, and the reasons are her own to tell or not.  But she has been a part of my support for some time, and will be missed.

I attempted to get my move to the new building completed today, in terms of paperwork, but was stymied at every turn.  The apartment itself would be great, the building is great, but the people who are managing it are doing it all wrong and it might even be a worse situation than I have with my current landlord.  At any rate, IF I am going to get an apartment in the building, I am going to have to start all over again on the application process.  This is because, despite the fact that there has been no available apartment or move-in date, there was a 90-day limit on my earlier application, a fact which had not been discussed in my hearing (or at all in writing) prior to Monday morning.  My housing coordinator, Teri, is supportive, and is willing to talk about other possible available apartments, but moving is not fun without transportation and this would have just been a move next door… she is not aware of any other low-income apartments downtown.  Probably better to stay put… but Mr. Parker has been getting worse and nosier, and has been doing less and less maintenance each year.  The physical status of my current apartment is approaching being below HUD standards.

I did get my latest article submitted for the December issue of e-zine.  It looks like a good article.  I am pleased with the quality of all my articles for them, and hope I can think of something to write about for the January issue.


I saw my therapist, Phil, yesterday. We discussed all the little crises that have been throwing me off, and that they have not been throwing me off like they used to… he was really impressed with how well I’m holding together.  We printed out and discussed my latest article for and how reality is created by each of us, and talked about how and why I was creating these crises.  I am working at healing myself, without blame for anyone else.  It’s a hard thing to do, but I’m getting the message.

I will be visiting the new apartment with my housing coordinator, Teri, at 2 pm today.  It may not work out — they want me to move much faster than I believe is proper, since I have not yet given formal notice to my current landlord.  If we can’t work out the details, then I may just stay where I am.  Might have to do a complete cleanup of the apartment in order to stay here.  The new apartment would be larger, although not as large as the property manager thinks it is.  Also a problem with the new manager, she keeps treating me like I’m some low-function mentally handicapped person.  She’s no better, but she seems to think she is.  Wish me luck… whatever is supposed to happen is what will happen.  It will either be a smooth move or no move at all.

I haven’t heard from Kayla for a day or so.  Hope she’s doing all right.  But I have to take care of me first (thanks, Flamez, for keeping me on track on this).

My parents came through in a very generous way for my birthday and Christmas money.  I think I got everything on my wishlist and still have money to pay bills and even overpay a couple of them.  Not enough to get out of debt, but that’s not their job.  I need to get my holiday cards out soon.

Hope y’all are doing well.



The most destructive habit…………………………Worry
The greatest Joy…………………………………Giving
The greatest loss……………………Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work…………………..Helping others
The ugliest personality trait…………………Selfishness
The most endangered species……………..Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource…………………..Our youth
The greatest “shot in the arm”………………Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome…………………….Fear

The most effective sleeping pill…………….Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease………………..Excuses
The most powerful force in life……………………..Love

The most dangerous pariah……………………..A gossiper
The world’s most incredible computer…………….The brain
The worst thing to be without…. ……………….. Hope

The deadliest weapon………………………….The tongue
The two most power-filled words…………………..”I Can”
The greatest asset………………………………..Faith

The most worthless emotion……………………..Self-pity
The most beautiful attire…………………………SMILE!
The most prized possession……………………. Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication………….Prayer
The most contagious spirit…………………….Enthusiasm

– anonymous


A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

— Albert Einstein – (1879-1955) Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921


Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his religion. Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.

— Tecumseh -(1768-1813) Shawnee Chief

Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic. But Henry Adams figured all that out back in the 1890s. ‘We have a single system,’ he wrote, and ‘in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses.’

— Gore Vidal – The Decline and Fall of the American Empire


The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power.

— President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


We stand for the maintenance of private property… We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order.

— Adolph Hitler


If a baseball player slides into home plate and, right before the umpire rules if he is safe or out, the player says to the umpire — ‘Here is $1,000.’ What would we call that? We would call that a bribe. If a lawyer was arguing a case before a judge and said, ‘Your honor before you decide on the guilt or innocence of my client, here is $1,000.’ What would we call that? We would call that a bribe. But if an industry lobbyist walks into the office of a key legislator and hands her or him a check for $1,000, we call that a campaign contribution. We should call it a bribe.

— Janice Fine – Dollars and Sense magazine

Senior Moments

Question: When is a retiree’s bedtime?
Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Question: What’s the biggest gripe of retirees?
Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don’t retirees mind being called Seniors?
Answer: The term comes with a 10% percent discount.

Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?
Answer: Tied shoes

Question: Why do retirees count pennies?
Answer: They are the only ones who have the time.

What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to

Answer: NUTS!

Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?

They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to
store stuff there.

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?
Answer: Normal.

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?
Answer: The never ending Coffee Break.

What’s the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?

Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Two members of my spiritual Family, SerpentStone, have died in the past week, one from cancer and the other from a heart attack.  The latter was pretty close to me… I’ll be going to the memorial service on Wednesday.  Also, three more have been diagnosed with different cancers, two of them recurrences.  This is a rough period for us.  I look forward to our Yule Gathering, which will be the weekend following my birthday.

Friday afternoon, Andy, Stacy and Robert came over to get the rest of Andarea’s stuff from my apartment.  Whew.  Could finally relax.  Then, with Pam visiting and watching movies with me, there was a knock on the window, and it was Andy.  When I went to the door to let him in, it was Andy PLUS Andarea and Stacy.  They had been run off their campsite by the Sheriffs Deputies and needed a place to stay.  I said no.  I let them rest up and get warm, but they left within the hour.  Pam helped me settle down (also a helpful call to Frankie), and we watched the rest of the movie we were watching plus a couple more videos.  I felt totally dragged out yesterday, and Viola suggested working on my shields.  I got the sage bundle a-burning (smokier than I’d ever seen it) and cleansed the place.  Within an hour, my energy was back.

Today was fairly uneventful… my Panthers lost a game they should have won, but aren’t out of it yet.  I read some to Frankie on the phone, might go back and do a little more later tonight.  Some phone calls.  Everything is back to “normal”, sort of.  I have an appointment with Phil tomorrow.

Guess that’s it.


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and spent it with my friend Myra across the hall.  Other friends were there, John, Rhonda, Cindy, Randy, and one or two others.  Myra says Rhonda talks about me all the time… I don’t know why, I’m definitely nothing she ever signed up for… strikes me as the Baptist type…  but of course I’m always willing to talk to someone if they can accept me for myself, and do not require anyone to change for me.

Had a couple of messages wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you all had one as well.

I know that this season is hard on many people diagnosed with mental illness.  The darkness outside, the coldness, the joy around us when we feel cut off from it, are all hard to deal with.  I will do my best.

I still need to find a subject for my next article… the deadline is tomorrow, although she will likely extend it.


The Panthers won today, and so did I.  While the game was still 0-0, Kayla offered to bet me on the game.  I said she didn’t have anything I wanted that she could give me…  no way were the Panthers going to lose to St. Louis…  she should have learned better while she was here.

We agreed to bet … 3-0 Panthers … I offered a Betty Boop bobblehead if I lost, she could get me a new hippo if she lost.  I then went to eBay and scoped out Betty Boop Bobbleheads, and found one I could sort of afford (two actually, same price, willing to make it her choice)… also checked on hippos, and there was a cutie there for $0.99 plus shipping.  By the time we settled on that (I thought), it was 10-0 Panthers.  When it was 12-0, I told her she’d better be ready to go bid on the hippo…. she said, yeah, like I have any money.  So why was she betting???  Final score Panthers 15, Rams 0.  First time the Rams have been shut out since 1998.  (Took a lot of searching… October 18, 1998 at Miami.)  [Update: today is March 31, 2008, and she still has not paid up.]

Had a couple phone calls.  Rhonda still misses me… J apologized… Witches’ Meetup at Charlotte Street Pub and Grill…


I’ve been spending the past few days getting to know my neighbor across the hall, Myra.  We watch football, Monk, Law&Order, etc. together on her TV (mine’s larger but she has cable), and she has planned Thanksgiving Dinner for half the people in the apartment building and some other friends of hers.  Terrific lady, and she’s only interested in me as a friend (she has a 20-year relationship with a guy who lives down in Clemson, SC).

Today was a bit of a bummer, but nothing compared to what I’ve been going through.  Worst thing that happened is that ever college football team I was rooting for lost.  I can live through that.  Especially since I don’t bet… LOL.

I also got to see Frankie for a few minutes, and gave her the rest of the stuff she had stored here.  I didn’t get to go to lunch with her, since Myra had just left me in charge of her apartment as she went to the store for something.  It was OK though, and awfully good to see her.  I’m still reading to her… an 11-book series, and we’re on something like Chapter 22 of the second book.  I haven’t seen her for at least a month, and haven’t seen much of her for almost 6 months, due to her health problems.

I talked to my Mom on the phone for about 45 minutes, then called Frankie and talked to her, then read a couple chapters.

One of my friends says she keeps calling me because “you have the sexiest voice in the world.”  Frankie confirms that she used to think that, too, but has gotten past that…. now it’s just the most comforting voice in the world.  My reading to her both is nice for what we’re doing together and what we’re reading but also to help her get to sleep.

Guess that’s about it for now.  I might find something to do tomorrow other than watching the Panthers game.


The Polyphonic Spree ROCKS!

I just received a used copy of “Together We’re Heavy” by The Polyphonic Spree.  In addition to a wonderful disk, there is also included a complete DVD disk including live performances and videos as well as an interview with band founder Tim DeLaughter.

I have NEVER seen so much unrestrained, uncompromising JOY onstage in my life!  You just can’t help but be caught up in the optimism, joy, spirit, etc., of this band.  Most of those who know me know that I rarely recommend anything unless it is beyond great… THIS ONE IS IT!


I received the following letter from my kidney doctor (nephrologist) today:

“…I have received a copy of your labs drawn on November 7.  These showed your serum creatinine to be 2.1.  This is in the same general range that we have observed over the last six years of so.  This corresponds with kidney function that is approximately 35-40% of normal. …”

Funniest thing.  This doctor’s former partner, Dr. Ling (since killed by the angry parent of another patient), told me that my serum creatinine was 2.8, or about 20-25% of normal, and that it would never recover from that level.  His job, he said, was to monitor my kidney function to make sure it did not deteriorate further, and that I was on the edge of requiring dialysis.  I remember levels of 2.6-2.8 regularly, might even have had a 2.9 or 3.1.  (Values are in mg/dL)

So now that I have a 2.1, it is not a significant decline?  35-40% is not better than 20-25%?  The fact that I am having none of the signs of kidney disease means nothing:?

Go figure.  Doctors just can’t allow themselves to be wrong.  I did take it upon myself to write the good doctor a letter outlining the differences between his statements and his predecessor’s.

If you’re wondering what I’ve been doing for the improvement, it involves taking an extract of stinging nettle seed.  The label instructions say to take 30-40 drops 4 times daily (in water), but due to my poor financial situation I’ve been taking 20 drops 3 times daily.  If I could get access to a field of stinging nettle (I know people with them all over their property, just don’t have a vehicle to get there), I could make it cheaply.  Buying it online is not cheap, about $42 for 120 ml.