Thursday, July 26, 2012


I have been putting off writing about Curtis. I try not to name names too often in my blog posts. Sometimes strange and mysterious musings float through my mind and end up typed out. There is no reason my imaginings should mix with helpless victims in the real world. Also some of my memories of the time I spent with Curtis will have changed over time. Just the way the human mind works. This effect is enhanced by the substances we enjoyed back then. Due to those enhancements, some of the timeline, the chronological order of events, may have shifted.

I met Curtis in high school around 1972. You couldn't be a student at our high school in those years without at least knowing of him and his outrageous antics. He was a frighteningly bright and hyperactive teenager. His mother, a bonafide character in her own right, was a classic stage mother. She got him spots on local TV kiddie shows where he did stage magic. By the time I met him in drama class he was doing card tricks, comedy and impressions. We hit it off as friends right away. He was one of those guys you either liked or hated. The card tricks, constant jokes and frantic way of talking really put some people off. I wasn't known for being hyper but my mind was always racing with it's own version of ADHD. He provided a stream of stimulating talk and challenges.

Overall he was a friendly good hearted guy, if insecure (then again; in high school who wasn't?). He got along with other cliques beside the drama/comedy ones we shared. As much as high school divides up people into specialized social groups, crossovers are not as big a problem as sad stories in the media would have you believe.

We were in several plays together at school. Theatre folk develop a special kind of bond putting up shows. There are many stories of the times we had doing plays. Like the time we were doing Thornton Wilder's "The Long Christmas Dinner". It was winter time so he went out caroling one night. Only he and his buddies were drunk off their asses. Who ever was driving hit the gas causing Curtis and whoever else was siting on the trunk of the car to slide off with a thump. We were set to do the one act 5 times the next day. Eric Tallman had to fill in for him with script in hand. By the third time through Eric was off script.
Oh Je-Zus is that what I looked like?

Shanda Witham (aka Ann Larent), Curtis Abbott,  Jeff Sandige (Jeff met a heartbreaking end)

One thing that I enjoyed was when he would tell jokes in front of the whole school at the, more or less mandatory, Pep Rallies. For a guy still in high school he had a good grasp of how to work an audience. He and I would brainstorm what jokes he could tell. Often we would be outside the gymnasium cutting class just before the rally feverishly refining down the list of jokes for that week. Bouncing ideas off of each other till the last minute. This all ended abruptly when he tested his limits a bit farther than they should go. He could be topical, joke about general high school events, have Kirk Douglas read the morning school bulletin, that all worked. When he made an off color joke about one of the humorless math teachers who as also a grumbly wrestling coach . . so much for Pep Rallies.

Theatre continued when we went to Jr College. He branched out into dramatic rolls. He had the lead in a particularly good production of "Richard the Second". He was a gut wrenching Mel in Neil Simon's black comedy "Prisoner of Second Avenue". He and I put together a comedy act that included magic that we did for the other students. This was about the time his grip on reality began to slip.

I didn't see much of him for a couple of years. In 1978 I got a job at Arrow Liquors at Columbus and Mt. Vernon (its a tax preparation place now). He had a job at the Arco gas & convenience store across the street. Except for working at the concessions in Hart Park* during high school this is the only job I know of him ever having. He didn't have it for long.
* just like Steve Martin in the movie "The Jerk" one of his jobs was driving the miniature railroad.

I take that back. The wife of one of our college professors Dr. Chapman was a kindergarten teacher. She had the bright idea of utilizing his skills at doing voices on a kid's show on local TV. Weekday afternoons for a few weeks or months the two of them would be on Channel 17 in the afternoons faking it like crazy. She was on screen as I recall, while he was behind a backdrop manipulating puppets. A'la Kukla Fran and Ollie. I don't know if you have ever had the task of filling 25 minutes of air but while he was a skilled voice guy and performer you still need material to do. The part that really astonished me was that the TV station actually put them on the air with a poorly painted set made of cardboard. The puppets literally made of decorated foam rubber with paper plates folded in half for mouths. The show had it's charms and I would pay dearly for a copy of one of the episodes. But really; What were they thinking?

He lived in a house that his mom owned off of Belle Terrace for a while. Then in a shack behind his grandparents' home on the alley side. When he lived there the whole house/shack looked more like the garage you see to the right.  This is where he and I spent 2 or 3 years drinking and smoking pot several nights a week. We called it Tortilla Flat after the John Steinbeck novel.
In a foreword to a 1937 Modern Library Random House edition of the book, he wrote: " did not occur to me that paisanos were curious or quaint, dispossessed or underdoggish. They are people whom I know and like, people who merge successfully with their habitat...good people of laughter and kindness, of honest lusts and direct eyes. If I have done them harm by telling a few of their stories I am sorry. It will never happen again." This foreword was never reprinted.
I remember him playing guitar and making up songs. "You're a Mustang and so's Your Car" about a girlfriend that dumped him. "My baby" ain't got no arms - She can't do me no harm, cause she ain't got no arms. This one had many verses along those lines.
When the loquats were ripe we would make Loquat Daiquiris. He spent his days practicing guitar or card tricks in front of a mirror. He planned and planned doing stand up again. We came up with several fun ideas for opening our own comedy clubs. His mental disorders were getting worse and we were just plain old chicken and too stoned to follow through at that time.
Lucky's Laff-o-Mat bar and laundry never happened to the detriment of all mankind.

During part of this time span I was seeing a girl named Rhonda. She was pretty and fun to be with. A country girl that, when she wore a tube top, made more than my heart go pitter pat. She was unfortunately also not particularly kind to me in the areas that really mattered. Curtis would tell me "She's just using you" and "She's making a fool out of you." This was true enough but sometimes being used kinda feels good. For a while at least, until self esteem starts butting in. He was so mad at me. The quick reaction was to think he was jealous of the time I spent with her. I knew him better than that. This is also the reason I have never felt afraid to be around him even when he was acting quite literally insane. The one thing that he cannot abide is injustice or hurting people.

Most of this happened over 30 years ago so I suppose the statute of limitations has run out but just in case I'll save the more questionable stories for oral history. One thing that stands out however is the way Curtis would get worse than any junkie when the pot ran out. This lead us to travel to some scary parts of town to find a matchbox full or some joints. One night at about 1 AM we ended up on what is now called Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. As you can guess this is the part of town where the black people lived. We stopped outside a nightclub that at the time was called The Cotton Club. I was scared to death because of the reputation of this place. It looked like it was packed inside. Outside there were 30 or so people in various states of drunkenness or whatever. While I lagged behind he burst out of the VW van and marched up to the most animated group of guys. We were the only non-blacks for blocks. Right off he inquired about getting some dope. Followed quickly by "I'm not the heat man". I think they could tell that. He then pulled out a deck of cards and proceeded to do sleight of hand "Is this your card?". "If you guess wrong you have to give me a joint". The guy took the bet. Every time he got it wrong the danger warning in my head got louder. By the time Curtis stormed back to the van and we sped away he got us 6 joints. He had that old VW bus for years. Petal to the metal or stopped was the only way he drove. That was not the only time I was surprised to get back to his place in one piece.

By 1982 or so he was on a medication that was so strong he only got the shot once a month. He started manic and out of control, after a few days he calmed down. Then slept most of the next week or so. He would start to perk up about 10 days before the next shot. I drifted into other interests and joined a group of partiers who, were a bit younger than me but full of energy and ready for doing crazy stunts. A fun time is a fun time but I needed to change out of the rut I was in and let go of partying as a lifestyle and major past time. I went to massage school. I didn't see much of Curt after that. He attacked his grandfather with a claw hammer I was told and wound up in Patton State Hospital for a while.
The first time I visited him at a board and care he intimated to me the secret of the card paper that encloses a book of matches. If you smoke it, it will get you higher than the best weed. Before I left he gave me half of a joint filled with shavings of the card paper. I didn't smoke it.
Patton forensic psychiatric hospital located
in San Bernardino County Ca. was opened in 1893.
I saw his grandfather afterwards, he seemed undamaged. Later Curt occupied a house near the Tortilla Flat house but he was so sleepy from medication that practicing card magic was useless and he had trouble keeping a rhythm on the guitar. A few years later I went to see him at a different board and care house in a very low rent area. The conversation was light and funny like old times. He told me about the dynamics of living in that place. The bullying and drug use of the other patients. Then he started telling me about how the pattern of veins in his arm would become animated and tell him stories. It made me think of that Ray Bradbury book/movie "

He turns up ever few years usually in a different board and care. I will often get flurries of phone calls mostly incomprehensible but generally conveying anger or need of some kind.The last time I saw him he had called and asked for some food and a guitar one day last year. I guess because of the medications the thin wiry guy I remember was more than a little fat, missing teeth ( I assume from pissing people off and poor hygiene) and showing signs of living outside. I dropped off a case of the ramen noodles he asked for but never did figure out a way to get him a guitar. All he had to offer in return was half of a joint filled with shredded match book paper. I didn't smoke this one either but who knows? He has been smoking it for over 10 years that I know of.  Figuring the guitar would be stolen or broken rather quickly I thought 'I'll spot one at a yard sale.' Never did. I am pretty lazy but the whole scene is so depressing. He also has had an ongoing rant about how the Beatles stole songs from him. This has become focused on Sir Paul McCartney's Back in the U.S. Live 2002. I actually bought a copy intending to give it to him, but like I said, visiting him is so depressing.

After I went to see him I started getting phone messages every few days. I spoke to the people I did theatre with in college and still see every week or so. They get the messages too. It is pointless to pick up the phone because he doesn't stop talking long enough to listen. The only calls I get on my land line are robo-calls and Curtis. I just let them pile up. They stopped after his birthday in March of 2011. His keepers keep him away from the phone if they can. Then I got this message (link coming soon) just the other day.

Pretty coherent as these kind of messages go. He's talking about the McCartney album again. The thing that finally caused me to give in and type out some of my remembrances of my friend Curtis came in the mail today.

Another recurring theme the last few years is the one where I supposedly owe him for the jokes he gave me that I some how reuse for profit. I'm not really sure. What is obvious is that whatever money he lives on, from the state or SSI I assume, is controlled by a conservator. This means that he has little or no pocket money. I doubt that he can cash checks. It is not far from my house so I went ahead and dropped by with a few bucks. 


He looked better than the last time I saw him. Thinner. Much calmer too. I didn't want to make a big deal out of the iTouch camera so I wasn't holding it up and missed his face. A minute later I got a still of him as he looks today. He started to offer to get me some hash (made from matchbook covers?) then switched into something about the McCartney album.   

If you have a memory or anecdote of Curtis or a correction to what I have here, type it in the comments just below this post. If you know of someone who might be interested in this blog post feel free to send then the page address. Remember to include the www, I've gotta get around to fixing that one of these times. 

Update 1/28/18 - That was the last time I saw or heard from Curtis. A mutual friend Garry W. works at a machine shop a few blocks from the Lake street address. Curtis would show up there, sometimes making a scene. That stopped a few years ago. In the vagaries of my memory I recall something about his case workers relocating him in the LA area so he won't bother people here.  

I assume his mother is dead. His sister Launi Hunt died in 2016. I was invited to the service but did not go. I would know no one there I thought. I hadn't seen her in 40 years. You never know though, someone might have remembered him. Since I had the email address I contacted Launi's son Daniel. He emailed back that he never knew Curtis, his mother kept him away.  Also that said he would ask around but he doesn't live in the area any more. I never heard back. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wheat! Wheat! . . Don't tell me.

So far here is what I have been able to find out about Dr. William Davis' "Wheat Belly" and associated diet. I am very biased in favor of Wikipedia. It has some serious flaws but in the aggregate it is very reliable and always a good place to start looking for information. I looked for Dr. William Davis and "Wheat Belly" and came up with nothing. The book came out in August of last year which should be plenty of time for something to be posted. He also has the website that has been up a little longer. Still, one book and a couple of websites doesn't make you famous. I have a dozen websites and am the center of the universe for Christ's sake, you won't find me on Wikipedia. One of the flaws of Wikipedia is that most of the volunteers that do the research and create the entries are computer or similar kinds of nerds. I saw the thing just last week telling about the plight of women's issues not being as fully expressed as they might be. Wikipedia = Geek flavor Sausagefest.

One thing I figured out right away is that the wheat free diet, especially the way it is described in the book, is very similar to the Atkins diet. Atkins, the super low carbs diet, is well documented in Wikpda. As you may recall, about 8 years or so ago low carb products, even Coke & Pepsi, were all the rage. Atkins was the diet du Jour.  Even today the advantages and risks of this approach are still debated. One of my favorite podcasts just so happened to talk this week about carbs and dieting.

... Compared the effectiveness of three different maintenance plans:
  • One plan was low in fat but high in refined carbohydrates. (Think of this one as the “Snackwell” approach.)
  • The second plan had a moderate level of carbohydrates—neither high nor low—but emphasized carbohydrates with a low glycemic load—things like legumes, vegetables, intact grains. In place of the missing carbohydrates, they substituted fats. In other words, aMediterranean-style diet.
  • The third diet was extremely low in carbohydrates and higher in fat and protein. Basically, an Atkins-style diet.
All three plans had the same number of calories—precisely calibrated to match the number of calories each person burned each day. Not surprisingly, over the course of the study, no one lost or gained any weight.
The big news was this: People burned, on average, 300 more calories a day when they were eating the very low carb plan than they did on the high carbohydrate plan. The low-glycemic diet was somewhere in between. The study authors concluded that, over time, people eating a low-fat diet would have a much harder time maintaining their weight loss than people on a lower-carbohydrate regimen.
This is very interesting.
Also mentioned in the Wikpda article was the concept that humans did most of their 'survival of the fittest' development before the invention of agriculture. "Wheat Belly" documents very clearly the difference between the wheat grown today vs. the wheat of ancient man. Not only was the older strain not genetically modified and hybridized to death but the simpler chromosomal structure was much higher in protein and lower in gluten and carbs. It was not practical to gather enough wheat to make it a practical part of man's daily diet before agriculture. Once it was grown as a crop the difficulty of acquiring calories dropped significantly. That is why it has such a place of honor across cultures. The explosion of human population was made possible.
It is not a big jump to see that easy to get calories is not a problem today. The whole grain version of wheat is the same white flour that has only calories and little else, with some of the other parts of the plant mixed back in. As warm and delicious as a freshly baked french loaf is, it is unnecessary calories with little else to offer. If even a few of the sideeffects described in "Wheat Belly" are true it is not something people with access to other kinds of food should be eating.

I began noticing all the products that contain wheat for it's versatility especially in baked and fried products. In many other kinds of products it adds texture and serves as a kind of glue. None of these products are required to sustain life. Some are nothing more than a delivery system for fats and sugar. It occurred to me that the once nobel "staff of life" has had it's good parts, the parts that appeal most to our senses, developed. The other parts like protein and qualities that gave it some measure of balance removed or diminished. Like so many of the other excesses of our world.

I want to try it but I get the feeling that the "Wheat Belly" diet or way of eating has not been fleshed out and researched fully. I like that it follows close behind Atkins that, while it remains controversial, has a proven track record. At least for initial weight loss. It also is similar to a much more acepted eating plan The Mediterranean Diet, only sans wheat. The fact that so many people have been diagnosed with Celiac disease or simply chosen to eat gluten free, food options are available even in restaurants. As I mentioned before wheat is in a huge percentage of the food products available and sadly in some of my favorites. Life without Mac 'n' Cheese or Pizza comes close to not being worth living. Close but I'll figure out some new favorites.

Wheat Free Pizza

Today's weigh in. 337.1
Down another 2.1
Total lost so far 16.6

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's a conspiracy I tells ya.

After the drama of last week's chest pain I doubled down on acid reducing meds taking generic Zantac (Ranitidine) when I get up and generic Prilosec (omeprazole) 12 hours later. This seems extreme but a few years ago when they thought I had post nasal drip causing gastric distress, that was the prescription. Anyway it seems to work and I haven't had the upset stomach or other unpleasantness.

Thursday was my birthday and I figured I would do (eat) something special. Thing is; I am so disguised with what has happened to me there wasn't any, off the plan, food I really wanted. I used facebook to crowd source a place that serves a big 'ol chef salad. A few chain places were suggested. I hate chains (except Costco for some reason). Especially chain restaurants. From the lowest common denominator recipes and bland ambiance to the lack of wait staff with personality. It only adds to my disfavor that the money they make goes to non-local investors.
I did go to , I think it was Coco's, last week for a salad and got an unspectacular salad with spicy chicken on top with a glass of ice tea and it only cost me $12. Did I also mention the chain places are a rip off for what you get? Milt's was one suggestion and has been a local business for 40 or 50 years. Normally I would go to Zingo's for local color but this was my special day. The chef salad at Milt's was big and had every thing I expected. While not being objectively special with real blu-cheese dressing on top it was familiar and comforting. Also with tea less than $10. Unfortunately Milt's has some limited success in creating the blandness of the big chain places. Scratch the surface and the local okie quirkiness is still there. Thanks god.

After that I decided it was time to go back to the gym. I started with an easy swim, then steam, then spa and home. Very pleasant indeed. I've been back after work (at around 4:30 AM) twice since then, also nice. The pain in my ass subsided for a day and I thought the swimming might be loosening things up but when it returned the next day. I figured it must be the strong anti-inflammatories I took for an attack of gout the day before my reprieve. Now that I am started back going to the gym it's just a matter of making it a routine and then adding in more actual exercise.

I was feeling good and kind of frisky. I figured that the crowd sourcing thing worked for salad so why not casual sex? I posed my request in a somewhat charming and in an as direct way as I dared considering the fluffy and superficial nature of facebook. I didn't really expect a direct response in time for that day but I like to think that I have a lead or two to follow up on at some point. Failing to initiate that kind of adventure I recognized another craving.  Since it has always been my favorite I went to Pizzaville. I ordered a 10" with cheese and pepperoni. The god must have been displeased with me because I decided to have a coke while waiting and the coke machine decided just then to stop making fizz. I had a plain iced tea. Once I got home with my prize (as if I waited to get home to have a piece) I ate a few slices and gave the rest to the dogs. As much as I love pizzaville pizza and it's fine crackery yeast dough crust this whole new way of life is all about how 'she (food) done me wrong'. Talk about your love hate relationships. All in all it was a great day.

You will not find me bragging about this week's weigh in. I can't see where some pizza and blu-cheese dressing screwed things up so much. Up a pound. 6 days of 1100 calories or less and one day not. It must be the double doses of acid control or I don't know what. A guy my size needs almost 3000 just to maintain weight. Oh well next week will be better. the scale could be broken or maybe my over the top cravings, like a junkie have a clue.

I read (listened to) the audio book Wheat Belly over the last few days. Sometimes it's sad to be so cynical. The author goes into excruciating detail of how the rise of obesity in the western world coincides with the ubiquitous use of dwarf wheat. Wheat ,the staff of life, that is often referred to in such texts as the Bible is an original grain with only 14 chromosomes. The newer ones starting with dwarf wheat has at least 42 or more. Not the same species at all. He then goes into even more scientific detail charting out how and why the wheat we all have come to know and love is killing us inch by inch. Or bran muffin by bran muffin as it were. Almost everything I have complained about in previous posts is traced back to modern wheat. I want to jump for joy but I have been disappointed by this kind of thing before. It even explains why the majority of my excess fat is in my belly. I want to shoot it down but all I have come up with is 'Why are many people not fat and having all the bad symptoms?' I have 4 weeks of cookie diet cookies to go so I'll think about this for while.
Here are a couple of videos that explain the topic.

Check back next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


One thing I have observed is, that I seem to be blogging to enhance my user experience of the process of altering my behavior. Okay, I admit it, that was the plan all along. I've had so much internal head traffic lately I lost track of what I . . .

Just so you know;
I am most grateful for the people that have taken the time to read some of the earlier posts.
This has created (even if you never give it another thought) a cloud of accountability for me.

The plan going forward;

  • The more that I am able to keep these posts 'up-beat' the more I am able to look at my moment to moment circumstances in a positive light.
So I think I'll try and do that.
  • Since it is in my nature to color my discourses with twists of dry humor, applying such gags to what I write here will give any positive vibe in the area, the tangy flavor I like. 
In real life pulling it off easily and naturally, I think, is my most charming personality trait.
  • This all leads to me living with my head cocked to one side, looking for conformation that the absurd lives among us. Ultimately an easy and delightful way to approach the moments. 
  • This flows back into doing this blog from the perspective of reporting. As in writing a personal letter on paper. Or, to be honest, in the voice of early radio from the front of some war or other.
  • Another reason for doing this blog now is to warm up my writing skills. I have had an idea for a series of stories that I have wanted to tell for some time. In my mind they are stories I tell verbally. At some point I will start to write these post then record them so my writing can adjust to being spoken. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What the hell was that?

So many of my precious thoughts that haven't been captured as electrons on this screen, sigh. This business of only heing able to sit here for 30 minutes at a time is getting to be a tedious boor. If I could at least clean or do other things while my butt recovers would be helpful. Argu@#$%^&*
Lots to cover guess I'll have to do it in shifts.

The pain in the chest I mentioned in the last post turned out to be kind of terrifying. Just below my sternum it felt like a tennis ball that wanted to explode had gotten in there some how. The pain would radiate out toward my nipples then straight to my back. I know, I know chest pain = go to emergency but for Christ's sake all I had done was eat some cookies. It continued with varying degrees of severity for a full 24 hours and finally subsided in time for me to sleep at the end of the early thursday run.

I still don't know what the hell happened but I have suspicions that can't be validated one way of the other. A few years back I had the procedure where they stick a camera down your throat all the way to china. I was told by the Dr who did the procedure that I had a hiatus hernia. I was still under anesthesia at the time so I don't remember much. I thought if it had been important that would have followed up. They never did. Strange that never treated me for GURD back then, acid reflux in a big part of having a hiatal hernia. Anyway I figure that somehow the 7 times fiber cookies got stuck in the hernia above my diaphragm and caused the pain. I had also stopped taking the generic Zocor I had been taking. I got it into my head that since I was putting so little stress on my stomach and other innards compared to before that acid reflux would be less. As it turns out with so little food pushing things along through my system many things like acid reflux and certain meds have a greater impact. This has been an added dimension to my experiances so far.
I have been careful to drink even more water with the cookies and am taking the acid controller med again. I am even more careful to pick the reflux danger foods out of my daily ration of vegetables. I am not sure why but I have had upset stomach and bowels a couple of days even before eating once I am up. I know it is not on the plan but a glass of milk has been helpful in calming things down. Today is okay so far. I'm starting with the shake mix that replaces 2 cookies. As soon as I get to a point where I can stand and walk without constantly needing something to lean on and can sit with less pain I'll shift to a more reasonable diet plan.

This past week has been more than a little stressful what with my new pup Lit'll having her left eye scratched deeply by a black cat that was visiting our yard. $135 I couldn't afford for 3 meds, a cone of shame as the vet tech called it and an office visit.

Then I get a threatening letter from the state telling me I owe tax for 2010. Pay us $1295 or tell us why not within 15 days. I didn't file that year because I didn't owe any tax and so was not required to file. Now I have to jump through hoops to prove it. the next day I get more hate mail, this time from the IRS. It seems they didn't like the amount I sent them in April and wanted more.  Next week Lit'll goes back to the vet again and I get a bunch of teeth pulled. Oh joy.

Today's weigh in. 339.2
Down another 6.3
Total lost so far 14.5

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

D-day plus one week - down 8.2

It started off fairly easy the first few days. The kit I got was from a company called Besides the one meal of 3-5 portions of vegetables and 10-12 ounces of very lean protein you eat 6 portions of their proprietary cookies or other things. And lots of water, lots. Their story is that the fiber in the cookies etc. is specially treated to act like 7 times the 2 grams of fiber on the nutrition label. A virtual 84 grams of fiber keeps you feeling full. I think it works too well. I feel stuffed and bloated most of the day while still having hunger pangs for food of real substance.

The problem so far is the abdominal pain I feel especially before rising. This morning after I got home from work what felt like a terrible hunger pain below my sternum turned into more. It took hours to get very little sleep.

The kit is supposed to last 42 days (6 weeks). The plan is to do the drastic thing till I can stand, sit and walk without so much pain and with more energy hopefully. I only work 5-6 hours a day just sitting behind the wheel and that really takes it out of me. I have lots of things I need to be doing.

I plan to switching to something more balanced including exercise as soon as I can manage it. Just a little pool time for now. A real work-out (my version, not what a gym enthusiast would call a work-out) puts me into a world of hurt for days. Much more than the '1st time exercising in ages' aches and pains.
Giving the cookies a rest till I figure out the new pain. Well 1 or 2 I suppose. Not back to the old way of eating but something soft to eat sounds like it might feel good.

After 1 week I went from 353.7 to 345.5 - 8.2 pounds less. I've been fluctuating in the 350s for months. This is good.
But -
At my size 8 pounds is not so much to start. Water mostly I assume.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Extra sensory pangs

I wanted to blog more this week but I have had some unexpected things happen.
What I thought would get better, because it usually does, is the pain in my ass. (such a privilege having and actual pain in my ass to complain about.) It was getting worse rather than better. After doing the computer work for my job each day and catching up on email and facebook it was just too painful to sit here and type out what was on my mind. Even more difficult to have some humor about it.

What was really unexpected was how these changes would effect my mental states. I tend to look at the world in existential terms anyway so you'd think it would be fun for me. It was/is overall. The turns were unexpected and strong. I knew there would be feelings of hunger. I have begun a list of the various ways hunger let's it's self be known. When I am in a more humorous mood I am sure I and sure I will have a whole riff on it. No what surprised me was the way the anticipated grouchiness has become like a laser beam of not taking any shit.

As you may know I resell the local paper in a town (calls it's self a city, as if) 25 miles away from the city of origin. The newspaper it's self is run in the old school 'fuck the people at the bottom' way. With the impending doom of the newspaper industry they have accelerated their cost cutting efforts creating more problems for me. They seem to be resigned to the fact that sales will never grow. One obvious way to let the newspaper survive another 5 to 10 years more is to only print 3 days a week. This would create a rich paper full of interesting content well worth $1, $2 on the weekend. As it is now it is rarely worth the 75¢ ($1.50 Sunday) that they now charge. Ad space being in short supply they could charge more for it. TV and the Internet are cool but certain ads will always best as a physical object right in your hand. Duh. The latest studies show that only 4 daily newspaper will remain in 5 years anyway.

For what I assume are sentimental reason they refuse to stop being a daily. Instead of cutting production days the next big cuts, it is rumored, will be outlying areas like mine. On Saturday a major supplement (a slick local magazine) that is always included in the Saturday paper on the last Saturday of the month was not included in the papers delivered outside the city of origin. This happened after a week of TV ads telling people to expect the latest edition of the mag. I have been getting calls from upset subscribers for days. I know many more are also pissed.  That was it for me. They try to try to suppress our many outrages with the pall of corporate non-engagement. No more.

This lead to a kind of funny thing that I did doing my rounds of the retail stores that sell the paper for me. One grocery store in particular that specializes in a friendly, 'we know everybody's name greet, charm and engage them' approach, is run by a family of Chinese. They also are big fans of the hyper-neo-conservatism you find on the radio from Rush Limbaugh et al (even after all theses years some people don't realize that he is an entertainer not a reasoned commentator). Weekly when they hit me with that week's outrage my usual response is the bland customer service-ish "Oh, Huh, oh my . . " etc.
One of the people that I deal with there in particular really gets a charge out of the rhetoric. Checking the papers that didn't sell he saw a copy of last Friday's front cover with a big picture of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He went into this rant all about how this guy is worse than Hitler or Pol Pot, he had a whole list, concluding with "he should be shot then hanged then cut into little pieces" etc. Being a person of little imagination I assumed he was parroting something he heard. My response this time was to say "So you're a right wing nut job?" with a smile in my voice. This stopped him for a minute then he followed up with what also sounded like a quote. "This is going to destroy our helthcare system." I responded with my own diatribe on how the healthcare system is already broken and corrupt at every level, it should be destroyed . . . Also with a smile in my voice I continued to counter every stupid thing he said.

Partially it was that the hunger had me on edge. Also I am feeling very "empowered" at times. That feeling of helplessness, that finally lead to all of this, at last on the run.
One thing I hadn't counted on was how much of an anesthetic, analgesic and tranquilizing effect food has had on me. Thinking about it now I think I must get more of an endorphin rush from eating than most people. Back in my 20's I smoked pot in 'mass quantities' at parties with my friends but just enough on a daily basis to keep down the flow of excess input to my brain. I have intuition, psychic juju or whatever you want to call it in a ratio a bit higher than normal as well. The problem was that, unlike in stories, I have impressions and flashes of things like future events but they rarely have significance later on when whatever happens happens. Not very useful but interesting was when a scene from an old TV episode would flash through my mind. That day or some days later I would see that scene previously unaware that they were even running the old show as re-runs. When I began doing massage full time around age 27 I began losing interest in daily pot, my intuition having something to focus on. After that is when I really began to gain weight. The food induced euphoria, among other things like undiagnosed sleep apnea, damping the brain static.
This is all speculation with other possible explanations, however my lifetime collection of these kinds of events leaves little doubt in my mind. My visit to the ADHD Dr tomorrow will be interesting.