Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

Spontaneous tremors, take 2

January 16, 2023

Previously on this blog, yesterday’s posting “Explorations in narrative medicine: spontaneous tremors”, a report on an 1/10 incident of intense stomach-ulcer pain followed by an attack of spontaneous tremors — wracking shakes in response to deep feelings of cold within the body.

This abbreviated story — abbreviated in fear that another attack might be imminent, a fear that was, alas, well-founded — included no account of the sequel to the tremors: deep exhaustion from coping with the tremors, followed by an exhausted sleep. Then awakening to a body aching everywhere, barely able to cope. Something to eat, then back to bed for some actually refreshing sleep, and arising again for the remainder of a very low-key day (which is where I am right now). In the end a tremors attack consumes two entire days.

Yesterday’s attack was free-standing; it was an ordinary morning   (admittedly, I was writing on spontaneous tremors, in some haste) until I had a premonition of coldness and then a full attack, from which I’m slowly recovering today.

Now, in more detail, from the notes I scribbled along the way.

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Explorations in narrative medicine: spontaneous tremors

January 15, 2023

An attempt to describe in some detail and with attention to the unfolding of the affliction over time, what I characterized very briefly in a report on a night five days back on intense ulcer pain (but without bleeding) followed by — today’s focus — body-wracking chills (which I now believe to be an auto-immune condition without a standard name). Which kept me up most of last night, until I fell asleep in exhaustion. Now I’m trying to work at speed here, to crank out this account before the chills / shakes / rigors / tremors fell me again.

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Gingerbread man seeks fortune cookie’s wisdom

January 14, 2023

From the world of anthropomorphic (AmE) cookies, a Seeker and the Seer memic cartoon, in the Rhymes With Orange strip for 1/11:


In the cartoon meme of the Seeker and the Seer, the seeker scales a mountainside to seek enlightenment (and perfection) from the master

In the Piccolo / Price strip, you have to recognize the meme, see that the characters are anthropomorphic cookies, and identify the seer as a “Chinese fortune cookie” (with its fortune sticking out). That’s a lot of work in cartoon understanding.

I got all that, and so admired the assembly of these disparate elements in a single, wordless image. Just lovely.

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The LSA handbook ad caper

January 10, 2023

This is, again, supremely, a Mary, Queen of Scots Not Dead Yet posting, coming after several days of wildly painful and deeply unpleasant afflictions (I had some yogurt for breakfast, a few crackers with hummus for lunch, and will probably do the same for dinner tonight; I have hopes for better tomorrow); the details involve a stomach ulcer, body-wracking chills, industrial-strength narcolepsy, severe dyspnea on exertion, and flaming-sword osteoarthritis, all at once, and you really don’t want to hear about them. In the midst of all this, the LSA handbook ad caper.

It’s about this ad:

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The Norman door

January 8, 2023

This is supremely a Mary, Queen of Scots, Not Dead Yet posting: a brief posting that I hope you’ll find both entertaining and informative, while showing that I’m Still Standing, despite a run of extremely unpleasant days, taken up almost entirely with writhing in pain and with sleep, the sleep of exhaustion and scary narcoleptic sleep. But here, a moment of sunshine.

Supplied by Mike Pope a few hours ago with this photo from real life:


(#1) MP writes: Documentation solves another design issue … An interesting variant on the Norman door

(MP is a regular source of material for this blog; WordPress tells me I have cited him in 30 postings so far. He is also — and this is  absolutely relevant to his comment — a technical editor at Google. Explanation and documentation are his business.)

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The drawing

January 4, 2023

Of me. Done by Max Vasilatos after a visit to me on 1/2. To make clay forms of items of mine for bronze casts — still to come — and share holiday carrot cake and commiserate over the pains and inabilities of our poor afflicted bodies, notably the weather-induced agony of our metal hip joints. But the drawing:


(#1) In my bathrobe, sitting in my home office

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Zed of Zardoz

January 3, 2023

A personal note: I’m just barely hanging on here, with extravagant hip pain and cramping up of my hands — both apparently connected somehow to the current weather — plus DoE (dyspnea on exertion) so severe that I’m exhausted by walking from the bedroom to the living room, and recurrent narcoleptic episodes with elaborate, hard-to-shake visual hallucinations.

But along came this remarkable image of Sean Connery as Zed in the film Zardoz, which despite being a Z-person (note boldface) and a longtime fan of Connery’s, I missed completely when it came out in 1974. Material from the film is being distributed in the mistaken belief that it’s set in 2023 — it’s actually 2293 — but this is what we get:


(#1) Connery, hot as hell and giggle-inducing too,  hypersexual and, oh yes, ridiculous

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New Girl in Town

December 30, 2022

This follows up on my 12/28/22 posting “Building wealth”, with its section on Princeton in 1959-60 and musical theatre (and Clark Gesner), mentioning New Girl in Town (which I learned about first from my roommate Frank (Franklyn J. Carr III), and then talked about with Clark). My old friend from those days (and still) Bonnie Campbell (Benita Bendon Campbell), also Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s godmother, responded to this in e-mail to me on 12/28 (quoted here with her permission):

Your poignant look back at Princeton years, especially the importance of Broadway musicals as background, carried me back there, too.

At my request, you gave me the cast album of New Girl In Town, for a birthday present in 1961. I had seen the show in New York, including Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter, in September of 1957, the night before I sailed to France on the Mauritania. Thus, the night before I met Ann.

The song “It’s Good To Be Alive” became a sort of mantra for me.

The Ann here is Ann Walcutt Daingerfield (later Ann Daingerfield Zwicky), who became Bonnie’s roommate during their junior year in France (1957-58); and a bit later her roommate when they were both working in Princeton. Thereafter, Bonnie was Ann’s best female friend (from among a number of such friends), until Ann’s death in the bleak midwinter, 17 January 1985. Many of the things in (as I put it in that earlier posting) “the giant album of Things I Learned at Princeton” came from Ann and Bonnie, together and separately. So: New Girl in Town, from Frank and Clark and Bonnie and Ann, over 60 years ago.

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Building wealth

December 28, 2022

A wry note on the news about pathological fabulist George Santos and his apparent amassing of millions of dollars in a mere two years. Santos’s remarkable ability to build wealth rapidly called to my mind the parallel achievements of the three men in the song “Little Tin Box” from the musical Fiorello!

After some background on the extraordinarily opaque Mr. Santos and his (apparent) meteoric accumulation of great heaps of money, I will entertain you with the full lyrics to the song. Then the basic facts about the musical, and more personal recollections from the giant album of Things I Learned at Princeton, in this case about how I became acquainted with the musical, which will lead to a brief note on Clark Gesner and still another musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (for which Clark supplied the book, the words, and the music).

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Brief bulletins: the world of men, some medical news

December 26, 2022

Glanced at a screen from my iPhotos — the album men-general — and saw a six-photo survey snapshot of the world of men, which amused me. I’ll share this with you, and then use the occasion to give you a bulletin on my medical conditions, an encouraging Christmas-gift bulletin. So: there are two brief parts, and you can read them both, or pick either one.

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