Sunday, October 23, 2016

Flying Umbrella

This morning I found the top of our picnic table umbrella standing upright in the backyard. We forgot to fold it up ahead of the wind storm. The gusts were so severe the umbrella was blown off the bottom section of the wooden pole. Luckily no harm was done. I folded it up and brought it inside.

World Peace through Pie

I met a couple who strongly believe no conflict among people can't be resolved by sitting down and sharing pie. Today, I am thinking they are right as we are eating slices of yesterday's apple pie.

Jayson Greene

I’m sorry that you will live with me, to some degree, in grief.

“It is a beautiful world,” I tell him, willing myself to believe it. We are here to share it.

Amazing Article

Portuguese Kale Soup and Apple Pie on a Rainy Saturday

Yesterday we were celebrating Jeffrey's birthday. We went to Price Rite and bought three heads of kale because they looked great, 1 package of hot chourico, and two boxes of Betty Crocker pie crust mix. I had to twist my arm to use a mix but I told myself I needed to practice with the mix before I was ready to become a pie crust from scratch expert. These are my training wheels.

When we got home I took out my biggest soup pot and started rinsing the kale and chopping it. I added to the pot with water and started boiling it. Then I chopped the chourico into tiny cubes and added sliced 4 big slices of ginger root and 4 cloves of fresh garlic and a several bloops of olive oil. I added three chopped bell peppers that were ripe-red. I added lots of soy sauce and some sesame oil. I added kosher salt. Then I let it simmer while we cleared the enamel table to make the apple pies.

We sat at the table each with a paring knife and small cutting board and peeled and sliced the apples filling a huge plastic pickle bucket. I had another bucket for the cores and skin. Then I tossed the apples in sugar and cinnamon in the big wooden salad bowl. I added the water to the dry mix and shaped it into a ball and rolled it out on the enamel table top using my big wooden rolling pin and dustings of flour. The pie dough looked like a map of France. My French radio station was playing. I used a spatula to slowly lift the dough and fold it in half transferring it to the glass pie plate. I added the apples, piled high and I rolled out the top crust. I forgot to mention that I added dried cranberries to the apples. I preheated the oven and assembled another pie. The pies baked at 450 for ten minutes and then 350 for the remained of the hour. The pies had to cool off. We cleaned off the table and had bowls of hot soup. It was delicious. Then we had pie. It was the best apple pie I'd ever had. The crust was thin and flaky and delicious and the blend of cortland, empire and yellow delicious apples was amazing.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Teaching Teen Moms to Cook

I was a guest chef a bunch of years ago at the local YWCA. We baked bread, roasted a chicken, pressure cooked beans, and made applesauce. I'd love to do this again. We need a public kitchen for teaching baking and cooking.

3 Minute Orange Elbow Pasta in the Pressure Cooker

I still can't believe it. Making pasta in the pressure cooker works and it truly only takes minutes. I bought carrot squash flavored elbows marketed to children. They were orange. Sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, it was a perfect lunch for a rainy day.

Abusers are 100 Percent Responsible

“Abusers are 100 percent responsible for their abuse, and only they can stop it,” Malkin concluded. “Until they do, interactions won’t be safe.”
Six signs you were raised by a narcissist.

Numerous Negative traits of Narcissists

People in narcissistic rage can hurt or kill. Do you know someone who is radically unforgiving when they feel judged or betrayed? Normal people get angry. A narcissistic person will often want revenge, and won’t let go.

People with narcissistic entitlement can psychologically injure those close to them. Do you count; I mean really count? Narcissistic people do fall in love, but they usually fall in love with being in love – and not with you. They crave the excitement of love, but are quickly disappointed when it becomes a relationship - and not just a trip into fantasy. You are left wondering what just happened. And if the narcissist is your Mother or Father, you stop being an adored child when parenting starts getting hard.


Toxic yet Fragile

Evelyn Ryan

Have you noticed that the most toxic people have the biggest and the most fragile egos?

Ever wondered why?

They are part of the facade, the illusion of smoke and mirrors masking a core of deep-seated shame and self-loathing and powerlessness. They are crude covertly aggressive parasitic attempts at taking others’ power for selfish self-serving purposes by those who cannot and do not want to generate their own. Oh, they may try to pass it off as power, however aggressiveness and the needs to control and charm and be self-righteousness and manipulate are not power.

Truly powerful and influential people do not manipulate others and are not self-righteous because, simply, they do not have to be. However, generating our own power takes hard work including putting our egos aside for not only our own good but for others’ as well. And what key character qualities does this require? You got it – selflessness, conscientiousness, commitment, compassion and empathy: qualities these broken personality disordered people lack and have replaced with self-righteousness and manipulation and a sick desire to make others lose.

Story Behind the Story

Thank you Russ Olivo!

Narscissistic Righteousness

I'm agitated by the bad movie playing out; the one in my head triggered by the one over the airwaves.

Lily Leaks

Our lovely Lily has a leak problem. I try to give her water just before the walk.

The Opiate of Choice

‘Judd is not always a happy person’ is the kind way to say it,” Dr. Ling said.

How did she deal with this blue period? “I let Judd watch television. This is something his parents started when he was a kid. You can’t fight nature. It’s his opiate of choice.”


Wilderness Therapy Theater

The show is about — that place of darkness where a gulf separates children and parents, and there’s no knowing whether anyone will get out of it safely, or together.

Novelists are like Fur Trappers

Last winter, Zadie’s emails to me became not only more infrequent but shorter. Then things went silent, as they often do when a friend’s writing is going well. Novelists are like fur trappers. They disappear into the north woods for months or years at a time, sometimes never to reemerge, giving in to despair out there, or going native (taking a real job, in other words), or catching their legs in their own traps and bleeding out, silently, into the snow. The lucky ones return, laden with pelts.

As much as I missed Zadie, I was prepared to wait a year or two until she reappeared. But by May her new book was finished. One of the first things I ask her, therefore, is how she wrote it so fast. “I went to therapy,” Zadie says jokingly, but she soon grows serious and explains, “I’ve always felt very cringe-y about myself. Fiction is a useful way of getting around it or disguising oneself one way or another. Not being able to write in the first person was very much about that, and self-disgust or anxiety about saying ‘I.’ I used to sit in front of the computer and have a very tough time writing, and I just noticed, once I was in therapy, I didn’t find it so difficult to write.”

Like a good therapist I say nothing, only murmur, encouraging her to continue. And then Zadie says something I don’t expect, something much more surprising than her previous admission: “It did seem to me, when I was a kid and also now that I’m a grown-up writer, that a lot of male writers have a certainty that I have never been able to have. I kept on thinking I would grow into it, but I’m never sure I’m doing the right thing.”


Friday, October 21, 2016

Pit Stop

Yesterday on my long walk to Harris Pond I had to pee. I spotted two port a johns at the ball field and picked the large one so Lily could come in and with me. It was perfect.

Domestic Violence: Power and Control

Another Article

Kenojuak Ashevak Pioneer of Inuit Art


First Day with the New head

"This time we looked high and low. No head. No Jesus."

Treat a Cold

The natural way.

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Scones
Author: Katerina
Lightened-up, no-butter sweet Scones made with a delicious vanilla yogurt and ruby red cranberries.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup skim milk + more for brushing the tops
1 tub (5.3-ounces) Vanilla Siggi's Yogurt (or buttermilk)
½ cup dried cranberries (you can use fresh cranberries, too, but cut them in half)
½ tablespoon turbinado sugar, optional


Preheat oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt; whisk until combined.
Make a well in the center of the flour-mixture and add milk into the well; add olive oil and yogurt.
Using a wooden spoon, stir all the ingredients just until the dough comes together.
Using your hands, add cranberries and knead the dough around about 4 to 5 times.
Transfer dough to previously prepared baking sheet.
Flatten ball into a disk; using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 wedges.
Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Separate each wedge, leaving about an inch in between each scone.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes or until cool enough to handle.


Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones from Baking with Julia

Recipe By Marion Cunningham


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter -- cold (6 ounces), cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk --
1 tablespoon grated orange zest -- or lemon zest

1/2 stick unsalted butter -- (2 ounces), melted, for brushing
1/4 cup sugar -- for dusting

4 tablespoons jam -- or jelly,
4 tablespoons dried fruit -- diced
or small, plump, such as currants, raisins,
apricots, or figs, for filling (optional)


Position the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425°F.

Mixing and Kneading: In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork. Add the cold butter pieces and, using your fingertips (the first choice), a pastry blender, or two knives, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.It's OK if some largish pieces of butter remain--they'll add
to the scones' flakiness.

Pour in 1 cup buttermilk, toss in the zest, and mix with the fork only until the ingredients are just moistened--you'll have a soft dough with a rough look. (If the dough looks dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk.) Gather the dough into a ball,pressing it gently so that it holds together, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it very briefly--a dozen turns should do it. Cut the dough in half.

TO MAKE TRIANGULAR-SHAPED SCONES, roll one piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick circle
that is about 7 inches across. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and cut the circle into 6 triangles. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and set aside while you roll out the rest of the dough.

TO MAKE ROLLED SCONES, roll one piece of dough into a strip that is 12 inches long and 1/2 inch thick (the piece will not be very wide). Spread the strip with half of the melted butter and dust with half of the sugar. If you want to spread the roll with jam and/or sprinkle it with dried fruits, now's the time to do so; leave a narrow
border on a long edge bare. Roll the strip up from a long side like a jelly roll; pinch the seam closed and turn the roll seam side down. Cut the roll in half and cut each piece into six 1-inch-wide roll-ups. Place
the rolled scones cut side down on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Baking the Scones: Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, until both the tops and bottoms are golden. Transfer the scones to a rack to cool slightly. These are best served warm but are just fine at room temperature.

Storing: If you're not going to eat the scones the day they are made, wrap them airtight and freeze; they'll stay fresh for a month. To serve, defrost the scones at room temperature in their wappers, then unwrap and reheat on a baking sheet for 5minutes in a 350°F oven.

NOTES : Makes 12 triangular or 24 rolled scones.

Swimming at Dawn

Swimming at dawn warms me up for the day but I am not ready to chat with anyone at the pool. I stick my head under the water and swim like mad, I sink into my imagination.

Simple Four Minute Soup

Last night I chopped a head of green cabbage, 4 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, and three cloves of garlic and 4 slices of fresh ginger and a tablespoon of olive oil and added a few cups of water, salt and Adobo seasoning. I pressure cooked it for four minutes. It was fantastic. I have a bad cold and this is soothing and hydrating.


“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Profound Hurt

“A profound love between two people involves, after all, the power and chance of doing profound hurt.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Responsibility of Choice

“What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Unread Story

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places


“While we read a novel, we are insane—bonkers. We believe in the existence of people who aren't there, we hear their voices... Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin


“Belief is the wound that knowledge heals.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Telling


“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Made New

“Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven


“The creative adult is the child who has survived.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin


“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Eaten by Dragons

“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wave in the Mind: Talks & Essays on the Writer, the Reader & the Imagination

The Journey

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Find Out

“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin


“We're each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, Volume 1


“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin


“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Banality of Evil, Terrible Boredom of Pain

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas


“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan

Unconsenting Soul

“It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

True Books

“Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real, but they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin


“Truth is a matter of the imagination.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Most Ethical

“The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Participate in it's Creation

“As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

All you have is what you are, and what you give

“It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Living in a Nightmare

“I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Curious Artifact

“The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn't have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell it to you again when you're fifty, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you're reading a whole new book."

(Staying Awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading, Harper's Magazine, February 2008)”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Virtue of your Peculiarities

“Change is freedom, change is life.

It's always easier not to think for oneself. Find a nice safe hierarchy and settle in. Don't make changes, don't risk disapproval, don't upset your syndics. It's always easiest to let yourself be governed.

There's a point, around age twenty, when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life, or to make a virtue of your peculiarities.

Those who build walls are their own prisoners. I'm going to go fulfill my proper function in the social organism. I'm going to go unbuild walls.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Human and a Fool

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Cares What Words Mean

“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin: Perception Compassion Hope

Today is the birthday of science fiction writer Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (books by this author), born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. Her father was the well-known anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, and she grew up listening to Native American legends. She would later say, “My father studied real cultures and I make them up — in a way, it’s the same thing.” She’s best known for her Earthsea series of books about a world populated by wizards and dragons. It’s been translated into 16 languages. She also worked for 40 years on a translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching.

An interviewer once asked her advice for writers, and she replied: “I am going to be rather hard-nosed and say that if you have to find devices to coax yourself to stay focused on writing, perhaps you should not be writing what you’re writing. And, if this lack of motivation is a constant problem, perhaps writing is not your forte. I mean, what is the problem? If writing bores you, that is pretty fatal. If that is not the case, but you find that it is hard going and it just doesn’t flow, well, what did you expect? It is work; art is work.”

She said, “It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.”
-Writer's Almanac

Carrie Fisher

“By the time I was 13, maybe even younger, I would write to calm myself down,” Fisher recalled in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I had an overflowing of words. And I realized that if I put things down on paper I could get out from the emotions and organize myself.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rival to Therapy

“I would say that writing, in its own way, is a rival to therapy.”
—E. B. White

Find Reality

“We are living in a fake world … But we find reality in this fake world.”
—Haruki Murakami


Part of the thrill of being told a story is the chance of being hoodwinked.”
—John Cheever

Sharp and Keen Eye

He was drawn to the everyday, boring, and the banal– and wanted to show the inherent beauty of things that we often overlook.

“He is the freest person I’ve ever met—he just does what he wants.

I think the most important quality that a street photographer should have is a sharp and keen eye. It doesn’t matter how technically proficient you are or how expensive your camera is. Without having a sharp and inquisitive eye– you will never make an interesting photograph.

“It’s like chopping down a huge tree of immense girth. You won’t accomplish it with one swing of your axe. If you keep chopping away at it, though, and do not let up, eventually, whether it wants to or not, it will suddenly topple down…But if the woodcutter stopped after one or two strokes of his axe to ask, “Why doesn’t this tree fall?” and after three or four more strokes stopped again, “Why doesn’t this tree fall?” he would never succeed in felling the tree. It is no different from someone who is practicing the Way” – Zen Master Hakuin

“Without instruction, at a very early age, I could play the piano. Anything, particularly—after hearing it once. Not reading music. I would pass a quite fine piano in my house everytime we came from the back from the front—and everytime I would pass it I would play a few things, and without any success at all. And I got a little better and better, and time went on. And maybe never playing the same one twice. It aint much different the way I work today, still [in photography].”


Clicks in your Chest

I ask if he likes to talk about photography. Eggleston closes his eyes. “It’s tricky,” he says. “Words and pictures don’t — they’re like two different animals. They don’t particularly like each other.”

I mention that for decades people have studied his compositions, the geometry of his images, which seem to grow more complex the more you look. But this sort of analysis of his work strikes Eggleston as “nonsense.” Photography is second nature to him — intuitive not analytical. “I know they’re there, the angles and compositions,” he says. “Every little minute thing works with every other one there. All of these images are composed. They’re little paintings to me.”

Eggleston’s images can trick you if you’re not careful. You have to look at them, then you have to look again and then keep looking until the reason he took the picture kind of clicks in your chest. In one photograph, taken in the mid-1970s, a beautiful boy — his son Winston — sits in a padded restaurant booth looking down at a magazine. Printed on both pages of the magazine (upside down to the viewer) are guns. The image is a one-two punch. The innocence of the boy breaks your heart; what he’s reading then stops it for a beat. I tell him, “When I look at it, it makes me hold my breath a little bit. Do you know what I mean?” He says, simply, “I do. I feel the same way. I think that’s an incredibly wonderful picture. I don’t know why.”


Listen to Many

Listen to many, speak to a few.
- William Shakespeare

Negotiate for Itself

Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.
- William Shakespeare

Love All

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
- William Shakespeare


Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
- William Shakespeare


It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
- William Shakespeare


There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
- William Shakespeare


No legacy is so rich as honesty.
- William Shakespeare

Cowards Die

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
- William Shakespeare

All the Devils are Here!

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.
- William Shakespeare

A Wise Fool

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
- William Shakespeare

The Play is Badly Cast

“Actors are so fortunate. They can choose whether they will appear in tragedy or in comedy, whether they will suffer or make merry, laugh or shed tears. But in real life it is different. Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualifications. Our Guildensterns play Hamlet for us, and our Hamlets have to jest like Prince Hal. The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.”
― Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories

Plethera of Misinformation: The Confabulists

A few people I know are a plethora of misinformation. It's one of those things that I either laugh about or cry about depending on my mood. I don't get it. "You don't know about parallel universes?" she asks.

In psychiatry, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.[1] Individuals who confabulate present incorrect memories ranging from "subtle alterations to bizarre fabrications", and are generally very confident about their recollections, despite contradictory evidence.

Narcissism 101

The psychology majors must be having a field day watching the narcissist unravel. I loathe narcissists. Who doesn't? Having been raised by more than one makes me able to detect them a mile away. This is one of the gifts of having survived. Never again, I say.

All the World’s a Stage, William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world’s a stage]
William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

Jaques to Duke Senior

Start the Day Like a Turtle

I went swimming this morning and my muscles were smiling. I felt like a dancer! There were two other devoted lap swimmers there. The sun was lighting up the sky. I walked home soaking wet in flipflops, cozy dress and sweatshirt and jumped into my home pool, my yellow bath tub.

Receive-mode is here and so I am desperate to swim and walk as soon as I wake up to lift my vantage point. It's an old and welcome friend, and very reliable. Receive-mode usually lasts late October until early January. Get comfortable, I tell myself, there's no changing it. Dance with the shadows and swim with the fish. Be sure do get daylight on your face each day. The earlier you rise the more daylight your brain registers.

I might need to add running to the list because the melancholy is intense.

I love seeing the colorful mums everywhere. The seasonal colors are spectacular.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Many of the transmissions on the police radio feature my neighborhood.

I went swimming in the sunny pool and had coffee and lemon biscotti, they tasted even better today.

Tomorrow it will rain. That's okay. It's 80 degrees today.

There's a cauliflower sale on the Harris Ave Park and Shop supermarket. I might have to go!

October is a haunted month. I am feeling really creepy. I turned on the air conditioner, I was roasting even with wet hair.

Dickens Hope and Despair

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Constant Calls for Cultural Inclusion

Nearly three decades ago, a poster by the Guerrilla Girls, an activist group of female artists, asked: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met Museum?” Their continuing protest at women’s underrepresentation in museum collections still applies to museum leadership. But there are reasons for optimism. Changing gender expectations have resulted in the emergence of a generation of female arts leaders. Outside the top 12, women are now running influential arts institutions like the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Miles of Orange Trees

This morning Lily and walked all over the city to enjoy the trees. We crossed the river a few times to checkout the view. I was flooded with memories when I got to Market Square and Front Street. The old neighborhood!

The Slumlord Cycle Continues

We try to educate the landlords on simple things like night lighting and trash but it's no use. A slumlord only wants one thing.

Missing Boy

Woonsocket police asking for public's assistance in finding missing ...
21 hours ago - Woonsocket police asking for public's assistance in finding missing city ... a 16-year-old developmentally delayed boy whose family hasn't seen him since Oct. 11. Shawn Medina, of 158 Rathbun St., is a student at the Bradley ...

Art of Aloise Corbaz

Aloise was born in 1886 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her mother died when she was 11 years old, leaving Aloise in the care of her eldest sister, whose tyrannical control left an indelible mark on Aloise’s psyche and on the family. This sister, discovering Aloise’s love for a priest who lived nearby, put an early and cruel end to the affair by sending her off to work as a governess in Germany in 1911, when Aloise was about 25. At first, Aloise worked for a family in Leipzig and then for a chaplain in the service of Emperor Wilhelm II in Potsdam. How involved Aloise was in court life is unclear, but coaches, thrones and jewels were recurring motifs in her vibrant pictures.

In 1913 Aloise returned to Switzerland, but her mental health soon deteriorated. She spent the rest of her life in institutions, at first with no opportunities for her creative inclinations, but from 1920 she started secretly drawing on scraps of paper with toothpaste and juice squeezed from leaves. When her activities were discovered, they were encouraged and, given colored pencils, she would draw on larger pieces of paper or in notebooks, often ripping out the pages and sewing them together into large sheets or scrolls. With similar resourcefulness, Aloise frequently used both sides of the paper she worked on and when no clean sheets of paper were available, used newspaper or pages ripped from magazines or books, including one on display in the exhibition drawn over a page from an art book on Japonisme.

Unlike the majority of Art Brut artists, whose knowledge of Western cultural history is minimal or non-existent, Aloise was well educated and incorporated elements of the cultured outside world into her art. She was well-versed in three languages, as well as with the stories of her beloved operas and was familiar with science, religious art and history; Napoleon, Mary Stuart and Winston Churchill are but a few of the famous personages who populate her pictures.

But more than anyone else there is always a representation of Aloise herself in her paintings, in one with her breasts a bloom of roses — symbolic, perhaps, of a sexuality desiring to be plucked — and another, also done in red, oddly appearing in the guise of Father Christmas. And, no matter the picture, the same blank, blue eyes punctuate each and every face.

For Aloise it seems that her art was not so much a form of self-expression as a form of self reinvention, a place where she could reorder the world, and her life story, in a more appealing way.

“Aloise’s art,” says Akiko Mori of the Watarium, “offers the possibility of rebirth. There is a tremendous feeling of freedom in her world.”

Hence, no doubt, the recurrence of symbolic images of such as the egg and the butterfly in the highly consistent world she produced. This perhaps accounts for the emerging interest in Aloise and Art Brut in general in Japan — following the successful Henry Darger exhibition last year at the Hara Museum — at a time of financial and cultural malaise that is probably leading more and more people to question who they really are.

For Aloise it seems that her art was not so much a form of self-expression as a form of self reinvention, a place where she could reorder the world, and her life story, in a more appealing way.

“Aloise’s art,” says Akiko Mori of the Watarium, “offers the possibility of rebirth. There is a tremendous feeling of freedom in her world.”

The New England Journal of Medicine

A review of more than a thousand studies has found solid evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk for at least 13 types of cancer. The study was conducted by a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization.

Strong evidence was already available to link five cancers to being overweight or obese: adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; colorectal cancer; breast cancer in postmenopausal women; and uterine and kidney cancers.

This new review, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, links an additional eight cancers to excess fat: gastric cardia, a cancer of the part of the stomach closest to the esophagus; liver cancer; gallbladder cancer; pancreatic cancer; thyroid cancer; ovarian cancer; meningioma, a usually benign type of brain tumor; and multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.


Trippy Wonderful Scary


The Caretaker Gazette


FRIENDS OF SEQUIN ISLAND LIGHT STATION in Georgetown, Maine are seeking 2017 season caretakers from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The primary duties include:
-maintaining grounds and equipment
-providing tours and hosting overnight guests
Must apply as a pair as it is a two person job. Families are encouraged. For more information, please visit or call Cyndy Carney at the Seguin office at (207) 443-4808 or email

Toaster is a Biscotti Machine

This morning while toasting my sourdough I said the toaster is a biscotti machine!

Potemkin Effort

Of Russian origin: Potemkinskie derevni
by Vladimir Kremlev for RT

Those are the fake settlements allegedly erected by the Russian Minister Grigory Potemkin to impress the Empress Catherine II during her visit to the Crimea in 1787.

Something that appears impressive but in reality lacks substance

The story

In 1787 Empress Catherine II announced her intention to visit the Crimean Peninsula, which had been annexed from the Ottoman Empire four years earlier. According to “eyewitnesses,” this is where the events took place.

Catherine’s journey brought her through the vast steppes located along the Dnieper River. As legend has it, Potemkin, in an effort to impress the Empress with the work he had done in the south of Russia (which for many years had been a desolate area ravaged by constant conflict), allegedly constructed fake villages along the route of the Empress and her foreign guests.

He then ordered peasants to stand along the side of the road with happy smiles. To make his “villages” more authentic he even had herds of cattle move along the road. Each time Catherine saw the cows she did not realize they were the same ones she had seen the day before.

The truthfulness of this story has been the subject of much debate. To make conclusions it is necessary to take a look at Potemkin’s background.

The man close to the Empress

Grigory Potemkin was born in 1739 in a village in central Russia into a family of noblemen. At the age of 18 he entered the Moscow State University and made the list of the 12 best students. Later, however, he was expelled for truancy. He then served in a regiment in St. Petersburg and in June 1762, as luck would have it, he became involved in the coup against Russian Emperor Peter III which brought Catherine the Great to the Russian throne. It is not known exactly what Grigory Potemkin did on that day but he was immediately promoted and given 400 peasants – a gift from Catherine herself.

There were many stories about his passionate love for the Empress. When he was first introduced to her, she was apparently thrilled by his ability to imitate people. When Potemkin left for the war with the Ottoman Empire, Catherine sent him many intimate letters in which she asked him to take great care of his life and not risk it unnecessarily.

In 1772 Potemkin was promoted to the rank of the General and became a member of the State Council - the Empress’s main advisory body. The St. Petersburg nobility named him “the most influential person in Russia.” According to one rumor, Potemkin even had conversations with the Empress in his nightgown (many gossipers said it was the only thing he had on). In 1775 he was given the title of Count and became the Governor of one of the southern provinces.

For some reason, during this period, Catherine’s attitude towards him cooled as she turned to other favorites. The relationship, however, continued to be friendly. For 10 years Potemkin reformed the Russian south. He took great care of the infrastructure of these territories – upon his order many factories, enterprises and educational institutions were erected. Potemkin prided himself on the construction of a shipbuilding center in Nikolaev and the fortress of Kherson on the Black Sea Coast. He is considered one of the founders of the Black Sea Fleet. At the time the fleet was weak but still strong enough to beat the Ottomans. Potemkin was one of the masterminds behind the invasion of the Crimean Peninsula. When Russia annexed the territory he was the one in charge of the region’s development.

Historians tend to agree on three conclusions regarding Potemkin: he truly wished to restore his friendship with Catherine to its previous status; he was a good and far-sighted manager; not everybody in the court of the Empress was happy about the restoration of relations between Potemkin and Catherine.

Truth or myth?

Modern historians are deeply divided on the degree of truth in the story behind Potemkin’s villages. Most consider the myth about fake settlements to be an exaggeration. They claim that the allegations are based on malicious rumors spread by Potemkin's opponents.

Nobody denies Potemkin’s real and significant accomplishments, which solidified his power in the region. But precisely because of this it is highly possible that he could have ordered peasants to scatter along the riverfront to greet the Empress – to help her convince the foreign dignitaries that life was going on well in the Russian Empire.

Another interesting part of this story can be found in the “revelations” of some travelers accompanying the Empress that were published 20 years after Potemkin’s death. The Swedish nobleman Johan Erenstrom recalled not only the scene of the fake villages but also cited that peasants tried to sell things to the traveling party. However, Erenstrom’s recollections are not proof for researchers, as this Swedish nobleman was known to switch sides between the Russian and Swedish imperial courts. So his “act of unfolding the truth” could have been perpetrated for political purposes. There are also memoirs of other participants of the trip that describe the legend about the villages as “a fake.”

The legend lives on

Nevertheless, the concept of the fake villages is widely used in many other circumstances - especially when someone tries to surprise people with things that do not really exist. As modern history shows “Potemkin villages” have become an international phenomenon.

When the Nazis famously showed their “Paradise Ghetto” during World War II to the International Committee of the Red Cross, it was a prime example of a Potemkin village: the façade was attractive but the treatment of the prisoners was far from humane, with extremely high death rates from lack of food and contagious diseases. In fact, for many inmates it became a stopover on the way to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Another example of a Potemkin village can be found today in North Korea. Several kilometers north of the demilitarized zone there is an ideal rural area, created to impress people with the “successes of socialist construction in the country.”

During the US Congressional debates on a new jobs package in December 2009 one congressman called the proposal a Potemkin village. He was sure that this piece of legislation would never turn into law because it “would never see the light of day in the Senate.” The concept of a Potemkin village was also used by many journalists to show that the plan of the US administration on the reduction of carbon emissions might never work.
Unknown painter. Fireworks during visit of Catherine II of Russia to Crimea.
Unknown painter. Fireworks during visit of Catherine II of Russia to Crimea.

In the USSR organizers of tours for foreign citizens carefully selected the sites to be visited. The best schools, factories and hotels were portrayed as typical and the routes were impossible to change due to strict limits for foreign travelers.

In the 1970s and 1980s - when regional Communist Party leaders hosted their “bosses” from Moscow – they showed them huge amounts of cattle inside modern facilities in an attempt to demonstrate rapid developments in agriculture. But in many cases pigs and cows were specially brought in for the occasion from other places in order to impress the “people in high places.”

This can still occur today in Russia when lower-ranking officials try to impress their bosses. Some far-sighted regional leaders see this as a big problem. “We don’t need Potemkin villages,” said the governor of one Siberian region. “We need real action to improve the infrastructure in the region.”

Many observers and political analysts often use the term “Potemkin villages” when somebody does something to try and change the mindset of the “bosses” at various levels – and this holds true in Russia as well as many other countries around the world.

Written by Oleg Dmitriev, RT

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Do you Know About the Clowns?

Do you know about the clowns? We found a machete under the car, we gave it to our parents. They're going to give it to the police to dust for fingerprints.
-the three brothers in my neighborhood

An Expression of Freedom

“Bill devoted his life to documenting style, but to him style went far beyond clothes,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “To him style was less about what people wore and more about how they wore it. It was an expression of freedom.”

Survivor of Human Trafficking


Perfect Pasta in Minutes!

I have been telling everyone that making pasta in the pressure cooker is revolutionary. It takes only a few minutes. I can't believe it. All you do is put dry pasta in the cooker and add just enough water to cover the noodles and a bloop of olive oil. The oil is crucial for controlling the foaming. Close the lid and heat the pressure cooker. When the regulator starts jiggling, time the pasta for 2 minutes for regular or tricolor and 4 minutes for wholegrain pasta. General rule of thumb is that it is half the cooking time as what is printed on the package. Cool the cooker under cold water to release the pressure and then open the lid and pour the noodles through a colander. Enjoy!

The Power of a Dinner Table


Elizabeth Strout

I write pieces, and move them around. And the fun of it is watching the truthful parts slide together. What is false won't fit. ELIZ. STROUT

She Just Drove Away

She told me she was out with her friends for drinks at the Emerald Square Mall and when she came out into the parking lot she saw a guy in a car. He was unconscious and foaming at the mouth. He had been shooting up. She didn't call the police or an ambulance. She just drove away.

Portuguese Biscoitos

I went to my husband's school for their open house. The culinary department was making these cookies and handing out the recipe. I just made a batch while the oil man was here working, and I gave him a few as he was leaving.

I used fresh lemon zest, margarine and whole wheat/white flour. I used a cookie cutter. They are excellent!


Butter 1/4 cup
Eggs 3 large
All Purpose Flour 3 1/2 cups (plus extra for rolling)
Lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Almond extract 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Salt 1 teaspoon (more if using kosher salt)
Baking powder 2 teaspoons


Cream butter and sugar
add eggs one at a time
Add extract at this time (if using)

Mix flour and baking soda and salt
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture
Mix until dough forms and looks and feels smooth
Roll into walnut sized balls, then roll with palm of hand into six inch long strips
form into desired shape
(traditionally circular like a small thin doughnut)
Bake at 350 for 10-18 minutes or until golden brown (rotate baking sheets and flip the cookies half way thru.
serve with some good fresh coffee or tea.

Swimming Early

Today I swam early because the boiler man is coming. I am thinking of all of the things I can bake and cook while he's here.

It was fun to be at the pool with the early birds. I opened the door and the pool room fogged up. It felt great to swim. Tai Chi underwater.

Boston had a run with Michael Phelps at 7:30 AM today. I swam with Michael Phelps, in my imagination.

Shame Humiliation and Power

The candidate reminds me of my mother's strategies and techniques in trying to destroy me. I was the unlucky lucky one, the one who ESCAPED. My mother must've known I was going to refuse her grasp, and indoctrination. Each time she tried to imprison me I ran further away. She threatened, to remove my intestines. She tried everything! But I ran and ran.

Kerry James Marshall

“Making a picture is a certain kind of language,” he said. “You try to choose your nouns and verbs and you choose carefully. When you speak to someone and you really want to communicate, you communicate carefully.”

There are complicated realities that seem insurmountable. But, what can you do in the meantime? There’s always something that can be done in the meantime. There’s always gotta be a way out.”

“There always has to be joy and pleasure in spaces where there’s pain. People still live, and they can’t live in total hopelessness. And if nothing else, art can alleviate some of the dreariness – you gotta have a respite from that.”

“If you don’t have to have all the latest shoes, you don’t have to have all the latest sunglasses. If you don’t need all that stuff, and you put all your energy into creating a space so that you can develop yourself? That’s good living.”


David Hockney

Artist David Hockney Says The Drive To Create Pictures 'Is Deep Within Us'

Hockney says the first thing he looks at in anyone's painting is the surface, "the paint itself and so on. And then you might then see a figure; then you might see something else. But I think, first of all, you see the surface." It's a painter's way of looking. Someone else might look first at the pear, the face, the horse — but not Hockney.

That artist believes painting can change the world. In the midst of all our miseries, he says, art lets us see the world as beautiful, thrilling and mysterious. "I do get a deep pleasure from looking," he says. "I mean, I can look at a little puddle on a road in Yorkshire and just have the rain falling on it and think it's marvelous. ... I see the world as very beautiful."


Slavic Soul Party!


Law Not War


Grandma Sophie's Transistor

Whenever I hear the word transistor I think of my grandmother covered in baby oil, listening to her favorite music, on Brighton Beach. She kept her transistor next to her ear on the towel. My sister and I ran into the water and swam. My grandfather stayed in the apartment looking through binoculars at all of the bikinis from the window.

A.J. Liebling

“Cynicism is often the shamefaced product of inexperience.”

“The world isn’t going backward, if you can just stay young enough to remember what it was really like when you were really young.”

- A.J. Liebling

Monday, October 17, 2016

Food and Water

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

He Loves the Moon

Local Woonsocket Olly's Pizzeria gives out whole pizza's for half price on the full moon. "I just love the full moon!" Next event is on November + December 14th.

Angelou, Aristotle, Lao Tzu

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
― Maya Angelou

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”
― Aristotle

“The best fighter is never angry.”
― Lao Tzu

“Practice how you listen to people”


Intrinsic Motivation

I switched to psychology, after falling in love with the Intro to Psych class I took my sophomore year, and graduated with an honors in psychology.

I think it was my parents’ lack of emphasis on grades that gave me room to foster my own desire for achievements. I developed a strong work ethic of my own accord, instead of doing it to placate my family. Intrinsic motivation, as it’s known in psychology, is doing something because that activity is inherently rewarding. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for outside rewards — praise from parents, money or recognition, for instance. Goal pursuit directed by intrinsic motivation is not only more powerful, but exponentially more fulfilling. I believe that when parents oppressively push their children toward academic success, it prevents them from forming intrinsic motivation for scholarly accomplishments.


Video: Silverman and Borowitz

Watch Sarah Silverman discusses Donald Trump and tells Andy Borowitz why patriotism makes her uncomfortable.

All the Benches are Gone

It's sad that all of the benches are gone from our city. This doesn't solve the problem of drugs and homelessness.

Mind is Buddha!


Everyone is Crazy Today! It Must be the Moon

A Quiet Day

Last week I was walking on Miller Street said hello to a lady I know. I waved and continued on my walk. She ran after me to ask what was wrong. I'm having a quiet day today, that's all, I replied.

Indoor Farming


Biggest, Baddest, Worst

“It doesn’t really make sense that you would want to kill your customers,” Fallon said.

Still, Sammarco added, “there’s a certain group of addicts that are looking for the biggest, baddest, worst, most extreme high that they can get. How close can they get to dying without actually dying?”


Passive Aggressive

Passive-aggressive behavior
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.

For research purposes, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) revision IV describes passive-aggressive personality disorder as a "pervasive pattern of negativistic attitudes and passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in social and occupational situations."

Passive-aggressive behavior often utilizes malicious compliance; that is, veiling one's intent to not do something in performing the specific task in such a way that an unwanted result is caused.

William Evans, 56, Boston Police Commissioner

William Evans, 56, Boston police commissioner

March 27, 2015

aram boghosian for the boston globe


You’re a dedicated road runner. Describe your routine.

I’m usually out the door by 4:45 a.m. and do about 6 miles. Most weekends I’ll do a longer run, 15 miles or more, so that if I have a marathon coming up, I just step up my training a little to get ready. My last race was in January, the Disney Marathon in Orlando.

Do you have a preferred route in your South Boston neighborhood?

It changes based on the weather. In the winter, I basically run in the streets, since there’s not much traffic at that hour. My favorite summer route is around Castle Island.

Why run so early?

In my job, you never know when you could fit it in otherwise. My philosophy is, as long as I get my run in, there’s nothing I can’t tackle that day.

Any serious injury issues?

Not really. About five years ago, I was running with my black Lab when she crashed into my knee. I fractured it and tore my ACL. Still, I’ve been pretty fortunate and have run 47 marathons so far.

Have you always been a runner?

As a kid I played lots of sports: baseball, football, basketball. Running didn’t really kick in until I got on the police force in my mid-20s. Back then, I thought marathoners were crazy. After my first Boston Marathon, I caught the bug and have now run it 18 times.

Ever train indoors?

At headquarters, I go to the gym 4-5 times a week and ride the bicycle, then do some weights and other stuff for around 45 minutes. I hate the treadmill, though. It’s like watching paint dry.

Have you made physical fitness a BPD priority?

I try to encourage it, yes. This is a very stressful job, and I believe that exercise is the best stress-reducer. Hopefully, that mentality has spread throughout the department.


Interview was condensed and edited. Joseph P. Kahn can be reached at

The Crack of Dawn

We stepped out early in the predawn darkness to load the car and and there was a sedan was parked in our driveway. The driver appeared to be smoking crack.


Article intravenous vitamin treatment

Sunday, October 16, 2016

the entire population of a city can be cared for

health care
Posted Oct 8, 2016 at 12:01 AM
By Lynn Arditi
Journal staff writer

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — Construction will begin Saturday on a new $15-million community health center projected to more than double the number of residents served in Rhode Island’s smallest and poorest city.

The Blackstone Valley Community Health Care's planned 47,000-square-foot building on Broad Street is part of a strategy under a new Medicaid expansion initiative to attract more patients and improve health outcomes for the state’s poorest residents.

The “neighborhood health station” on Broad Street, scheduled to be completed in spring 2018, will centralize services under one roof and add a new dental clinic and on-site pharmacy. The center will offer same-day sick appointments and extended hours (from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on weekdays as well as weekend hours.

“Our mission is to create a healthy community,” said Raymond Lavoie, executive director of Blackstone Valley Community Health Care. “With convenient access and comprehensive, professional and culturally sensitive services, we’re hoping to become an essential partner in good health to a new generation of residents of this city.”

The investment is expected to reduce the need for costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations which, officials say, should help lower insurance premiums — a major concern in the business community, according to a fact sheet about the project.

The Blackstone Valley health center is among the first in Rhode Island to participate in a new payment model for state Medicaid providers created under the Affordable Care Act. The model is designed to save money and improve health outcomes. It attempts to hold provider organizations responsible for care and costs of specific populations by tying payment incentives to performance on care quality and savings.

“To generate savings and share in those savings — that’s the driving factor,’’ Lavoie said. “That’s how we know that we’ll be able to pay the mortgage.”

Funding for the project includes a $1-million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The financing includes $11.45 million in federal new market tax credits and tax-exempt bonds. These tax credits are typically offered to private investors and banks to finance health centers, charter schools and other economic development projects in low-income communities.

In this 1-square-mile city, the health-care needs loom large. Central Falls’ teen birth rate is nearly four-times the statewide average, according to Rhode Island Kids Count. The rates for women with delayed prenatal care, infants born with a low birthweight and children hospitalized for asthma all exceed the statewide average.

The effort to address the city’s health-care needs began in 2013, a year after the city emerged from bankruptcy. The state Health Department convened a health assessment of the city. Community and church leaders, as well as local health-care providers, met with about 100 residents, according to a statement about the project. One of the health priorities identified during the forum was improving access to primary care.

The Blackstone Valley center currently serves about 40 percent of the city’s population at three separate sites. The goal is to add 10,000 new patients within four years, Lavoie said, and care for 90 percent of the city’s residents

“This is the only place that I know of where the entire population of a city can be cared for by a single clinical enterprise,” Dr. Michael Fine, former director of the Health Department, said in an interview. Fine, who serves as the health center’s senior clinical population health officer, said the project offers “huge population health and public health opportunities.”

Fine, who also serves as Central Falls’ health policy adviser, said the center’s electronic medical records will enable providers to target specific health risks in the city, such as cigarette smoking, and focus outreach efforts to bring those people into the clinic.

The new center will be on land directly behind the Notre Dame Express Health Care building at 1000 Broad St., which the health center purchased, along with the land, in September 2015 from Memorial Hospital.

Once built, officials plan to close the aging Notre Dame building as well as the Chestnut Street site and move those patients into the new center. Over the next few years, the center plans to add 75 new staff, including 11 clinical staff such as doctors, dentists, nurses and social workers.

Funding for the project also includes:

* $2 million from the Blackstone Valley Community Health Care

* $300,000 from The Delta Dental of Rhode Island Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation

* $250,000 from the Champlin Foundation

* $50,000 from Rhode Island Group Health Association Foundation Fund

* $50,000 from the City of Central Falls

The project is being build by ED Rowse Architects Inc. of East Providence.


On Twitter: @LynnArditi

Fine: Start telling the truth about drugs

Posted Apr 7, 2016 at 2:01 AM

By Michael Fine

Drug and alcohol use represent a difficult policy challenge in a free society. We want to allow individual freedom, but we also want to protect our young people from harm and prevent the serious injury that can result from drug and alcohol overuse. We want our businesses to flourish and we want Rhode Islanders to be able to make a living, but we don’t want some people to be making a living at the expense of the public’s health.

Protecting the public’s health means the exercise of individual responsibility, the restriction of some freedoms, and being clear about conflicts of interest in our politics, so we can distinguish between those policies that serve the public’s health and those that serve only personal gain, when policies might hurt one at the expense of the other.

Too many Rhode Islanders are using drugs and alcohol. Why is that?

Simply stated, drugs and alcohol are a problem because they produce pleasure in some people, harm in more than a few, and profit for many. Most people can have a glass of wine, a single cigarette, a little marijuana, or even a hit of heroin or cocaine without ill effects. Are the 90 percent of us who can experience pleasure from a single use supposed to abandon that opportunity because 10 percent are at risk? Are the huge profits to be made by growing, producing, distributing and selling these substances to be abandoned because of the risks to a few people? These are difficult questions for a society and a state to answer.

But there are more complicated questions yet. How much should we consider the addictive potential of each substance in deciding whether or not to allow the public access to it? And how do we rate addiction? By the strength of the user's desire for the substance? Or by the intensity of any withdrawal? How about danger? Should we prohibit substances that can kill you on a single use? How about those that kill only with use over many years? Should we consider beneficial effects, which some of these substances have when they are used in small amounts and for short periods?

Adding to public policy confusion is the fact that every attempt we have ever made to ban pleasurable substances is met by the quick emergence of a black market that is often associated with violence, criminality, and varying degrees of public corruption here and around the world.

So there is no perfect calculus, telling us what to do.

At this point in our history, though, it’s time to face a difficult fact: our attempt to protect the public’s health by making some substances controlled and some illegal has failed. Illegal sources of supply appear to be able to out-run and even out-gun law enforcement. We now have an uninterrupted supply of the most dangerous substances, despite a 40-year war on drugs. Heroin is cheaper than marijuana. Marijuana is available in every high school bathroom in Rhode Island, and apparently, in many middle schools as well. Making drugs illegal has created criminals and corruption, and has led to the unjust imprisonment of two generations of African-American men.

Our current approach doesn’t appear to be saving lives. At the moment, profit and pleasure seeking appear to be stronger drivers of our social policy than our ability to protect the vulnerable among us through law enforcement, despite our best intentions and the better angels of our nature.

It’s time to start telling ourselves the truth about drugs. We can’t arrest our way, imprison our way, or legislate our way out of a basic human truth. The Old Testament struggle between easy pleasures and hard work — between self and community, a struggle older than the written word — is not being effectively addressed by our laws or our culture. Some of us like drugs and alcohol. Some of us like profit. Community takes work and work takes time to prove that it creates meaning and value.

The combination of drugs and profit is going to get and keep too many of us dependent and addicted. Given deep human vulnerabilities, unless we find new ways of preventing people from using drugs, provide better life choices than getting high for people who have been marginalized by our culture, and make sure we have immediate access to treatment for people who are using now, Rhode Islanders are going to keep using, and Rhode Islanders are going to keep dying.

Michael Fine, M.D., an occasional contributor, was director of the Rhode Island Department of Health from 2011 to 2015. He is a family physician.

Drug Problem in RI

Posted Mar 8, 2016 at 2:00 AM Providence Journal

By Michael Fine

We are missing the boat about drug overdose and alcohol poisoning deaths. We lost 239 Rhode Islanders to drug overdoses in 2014, and the available evidence suggests the number will be 4 to 5 percent higher in 2015. As the ever-climbing number of deaths suggests, we have not yet found the solution to the problem of overdose and alcohol poisoning in Rhode Island, a problem with many causes.

Somehow we have yet to understand that the major cause of drug overdose and alcohol poisoning death isn’t which drug Rhode Islanders are using or how we use those drugs. The problem is that too many of us are using drugs, and that we have allowed a culture of drug and alcohol use to become acceptable in our state. We are not going to be able to reduce the number of Rhode Islanders who die of drug and alcohol poisoning until we reduce the number of Rhode Islanders using in the first place.

Drug and alcohol use and our attitudes about that use are the problem. But the role of family and community as social support, the lack of a coherent approach to the treatment of pain, and the absence of an organized health care system also play a role.

Rhode Islanders used more drugs and alcohol per capita than people from almost any other state in 2013. Survey data suggests that we were the state with the largest number of people reporting illicit drug use in 2013, and the third highest in 2014. We were third in the nation for alcohol poisonings in 2013. Fourth in the nation for benzodiazepine use. Third highest in the nation for binge drinking. Fourth highest in the nation for non-medical use of pain relievers and cocaine use in 2013. The evidence is clear that almost 50 percent more of us per capita report illicit and marijuana drug use than the national average, and ten percent more of us use alcohol to excess.

No one will die of drug and alcohol overdoses if no one is using.

Treatment and Narcan are important tools to help stop people from dying. Better control of opiate prescribing — and the prescribing of other drugs — is important, but let’s not fool ourselves: people will use heroin, cocaine, alcohol, benzodiazepines, marijuana and stimulants even when prescription opiates are tightly controlled. We have to reduce inappropriate access to prescription opiates and provide treatment on demand. We have to provide access to Narcan and change our culture. Until we can say with certainty that the use of all drugs and alcohol is declining, we have no right to expect that fewer people will die of overdoses.

Drug overdose death is the symptom. Drug and alcohol use is the disease.

That said, recently published evidence suggests the work we did together as a community in 2013 and 2014 was effective in reducing drug and alcohol use, so we may want to consider thinking about ways of changing our culture so that we reduce drug and alcohol use, over-use, drug overdose death and alcohol poisoning.

But changing behavior is difficult, and creating a sensible drug and alcohol policy means balancing many competing interests: the interests of those who can use casually without consequence against those of us who are likely to become addicted with casual use; the interests of those of us who make our livings selling these substances (and treating the addictions that result) against the interests of those of us whose lives will be upended by using and those who can and want to use casually; and the interests of those of us who influence the policy process against those of us who have to bear the costs and burdens that our policy choices create.

It’s time we admitted that what we are doing now has failed. Rhode Island’s drug and alcohol use is much more intense than that of other places in the United States. Too many Rhode Islanders are dying from substance-use disorder each day, week and month. The human and financial cost of this use and the disorder that sometimes results is now difficult to bear. We can keep on pretending that substance use is someone else’s problem. Or we can own our problem, and change.

Michael Fine, M.D., an occasional contributor, was director of the Rhode Island Department of Health from 2011 to 2015. He is a family physician.

Garrison Keillor

“I want to live a new life as a writer, a smaller life, not so many deadlines, the life I imagined when I was young, in which you sit in a room and wrangle sentences and paragraphs, a cup of coffee at hand,” Keillor says. “I never was cut out for performance, never had the ambition, just sort of sidled into it. Now I’m going to sidle out of it.”

Losing the War on Addiction


“Will you be me?”

She asked Ulf if he was ready to start, and he nodded, gathering himself. Then he stood up and looked around the room. His eyes paused on each of us in turn, as if tapping a tuning fork and assessing the pitch. When he’d gone the full round, he pointed at a tall, wiry man with a penetrating gaze. “Will you be me?” he said. He asked another man to be his uncle and a woman nearby, with a pixie cut and sharp, birdlike features, to be Fear.

What happened next is hard to categorize. It was part theatre, part therapy, part séance—a measure of just how far Germans will go to come to terms with their past. Ulf walked around behind each of his stand-ins and laid his hands on their shoulders. Then he closed his eyes and slowly pushed forward. “Just stop when you feel like they’re in the right spot,” Baring said. Soon the center of the room was filled with people, frozen in place like statues in a war memorial. For the next hour or so, they would try to channel the person or emotion they’d been asked to represent. To let their spirits speak.


Spiritual Organs of Perception

Steiner claimed that he, too, could see spirits in his waking life. “Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception,” he wrote, “so does a man develop in himself spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him.

Dancer Detective Opera Singer

My fantasy lives.

Survivor's Guilt

Survivor guilt
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Survivor guilt (or survivor's guilt; also called survivor syndrome or survivor's syndrome) is a mental condition that occurs when a person perceives themselves to have done wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not. It may be found among survivors of murder, terrorism, combat, natural disasters, epidemics, among the friends and family of those who have died by suicide, and in non-mortal situations such as among those whose colleagues are laid off. The experience and manifestation of survivor's guilt will depend on an individual's psychological profile. When the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) was published, survivor guilt was removed as a recognized specific diagnosis, and redefined as a significant symptom of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Survivor guilt was first identified during the 1960s. Several therapists recognized similar if not identical conditions among Holocaust survivors. Similar signs and symptoms have been recognized in survivors of traumatic situations including combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, air-crashes and wide-ranging job layoffs.[1] A variant form has been found among rescue and emergency services personnel who blame themselves for doing too little to help those in danger, and among therapists, who may feel a form of guilt in the face of their patients' suffering.

Stephen Joseph, a psychologist at the University of Warwick, has studied the survivors of the capsizing of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise which killed 193 of the 459 passengers.[2] His studies showed that 60 percent of the survivors suffered from survivor guilt. Joseph went on to say: "There were three types: first, there was guilt about staying alive while others died; second, there was guilt about the things they failed to do – these people often suffered post-traumatic 'intrusions' as they relived the event again and again; third, there were feelings of guilt about what they did do, such as scrambling over others to escape. These people usually wanted to avoid thinking about the catastrophe. They didn't want to be reminded of what really happened.

Sufferers sometimes blame themselves for the deaths of others, including those who died while rescuing the survivor or whom the survivor tried unsuccessfully to save.[3]
Survivor syndrome

Survivor syndrome, also known as concentration camp syndrome (or KZ syndrome on account of the German term Konzentrationslager),[4] are terms which have been used to describe the reactions and behaviors of people who have survived massive and adverse events, such as the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.[5] They are described as having a pattern of characteristic symptoms including anxiety and depression, social withdrawal, sleep disturbance and nightmares, physical complaints and mood swings with loss of drive.[6] Commonly such survivors feel guilty that they have survived the trauma and others—such as their family, friends, and colleagues—did not.

Both conditions, along with other descriptive syndromes covering a range of traumatic events are now subsumed under posttraumatic stress disorder.[7]

Oscar Wilde Birthday

It’s the birthday of Irish writer Oscar Wilde (books by this author), born Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, in Dublin (1854). He’s the author of the plays Lady Windermere’s Fan (1893), A Woman of No Importance (1893), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895); and he’s one of the most quotable authors in the English language.

His mother was a famous poet, journalist, and Irish nationalist; his father was a noted ear and eye doctor. He went to college at Oxford, where he began affecting an aristocratic English accent and dressing in eccentric suits and velvet knee breeches.

He stayed in England after college and made a name for himself as a brilliant conversationalist in the high society of London. A movement in art and literature called Aestheticism was becoming popular at the time, and Wilde became known as one of its leading spokesmen. The movement’s motto was “Art for art’s sake.” Wilde began lecturing on the importance of art and beauty in people’s everyday lives. He said: “We spend our days looking for the secret of life. Well, the secret of life is art.” And he said, “Even a colour-sense is more important, in the development of the individual, than a sense of right and wrong.”

Wilde went on a sweeping lecture tour in the United States, stopping everywhere from Des Moines to Denver, from St. Paul to Houston. He visited Walt Whitman in Pennsylvania, where they drank elderberry wine and talked about poetry in America and England. He lectured to rich people and to coal miners. He said, “The most graceful thing I ever beheld was a miner in a Colorado silver mine driving a new shaft with a hammer.”

Soon after he returned to London in 1883, he set himself to writing poetry, plays, and essays. But he didn’t become well known as a serious writer until he came out with his first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, in 1891, about a beautiful young man who remains young while a portrait of him grows old. Wilde then burst upon the British theater scene with four consecutive comedy hits: Lady Windermere’s Fan (1893), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).

Happy Birthday Eugene O'Neill

It’s the birthday of American playwright Eugene O’Neill (books by this author), born in a Broadway hotel room in New York City (1888). His father was a famous actor, and O’Neill spent much of his childhood on trains and in hotels, following his father on tours. He went to Princeton, but he was expelled after a year. He got a series of odd jobs, then went off on a gold prospecting expedition in Honduras, where he contracted malaria. After he recovered, he tried out sailing, vaudeville acting, and writing for a small-town newspaper. In 1912, he fell sick again with tuberculosis and spent six months in a sanatorium. While he was there, he began to read classic playwrights and modern innovators like Ibsen and Strindberg.

When he was released, he began writing furiously, coming out with 11 one-act plays in just a few years. In 1916, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, he fell in with a group that would become known as the Provincetown Players, which included writers like Susan Glaspell and Robert Edmond Jones. The group began producing O’Neill’s plays on a regular basis, and they helped to revolutionize American theater.

In 1920 his play Beyond the Horizon became a popular and critical success on Broadway, and it won the Pulitzer Prize. He would go on to win two more Pulitzers in the next eight years, for Anna Christie (1922) and Strange Interlude (1928). He continued to write until 1944, when he was diagnosed with a crippling neurological disease called cortical cerebellar atrophy. In 1956, his work began to be revived, and his play Long Day’s Journey into Night — published posthumously in 1956 — won the Pulitzer Prize the next year.

After Shakespeare and Shaw, O’Neill is the most widely presented and translated dramatist in the English-speaking world. His were the first real tragedies of the American stage, the first to dispense with formal language in favor of slang, and the first to use special effects like masks and dramatic lighting. He won the Nobel Prize in 1936.

O’Neill wrote to a friend: “I am far from being a pessimist. … On the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life!”

And he wrote, “Life is for each man a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”

Beer Run


Judith Jones