Poetry or Madness

The T.S. Eliot poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was written in 1910 and published in 1915 in Poetry magazine.  It is considered one of the quintessential works of modernism, which replaced the Romantic and the Georgian rhymes that had dominated Europe, and became one of the most exclusive American methods of writing.  This represents a literary movement at the turn of the 20th century that emphasized themes of alienation, isolation, and the diminishing power of the traditional sources of authority.  The first stanza is made up of 6 lines in French which translate to, “If I thought that my reply would be to someone who would ever return to earth, this flame would remain without further movement; but as no one has ever returned alive from this gulf, if what I hear is true, I can answer you with no fear of infamy.”

It is an examination of the tortured psyche of the prototypical modern man—overeducated, eloquent, neurotic, and emotionally stilted.  Prufrock, the poem’s speaker, seems to be addressing a potential lover, with whom he would like to “force the moment to its crisis” by somehow consummating their relationship.  But Prufrock knows too much of life to “dare” an approach to the woman: In his mind he hears the comments others make about his inadequacies, and he chides himself for “presuming” emotional interaction could be possible at all.  This poem is more a collage of thoughts, wishes, fears, meditations, and images of anxiety, desire, and disappointment, than it is a coherent speech and some people have considered it to be the ravings of an insane person, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A middle-aged man, named J. Alfred Prufrock, is attending social events, probably in the hopes of finding a woman he can court and then marry.  Prufrock talks of an ‘overwhelming question’, but he does not state what this is (he tells us, or his unseen companion, not to ask ‘What is it?’, so we’re left to ponder what this ‘question’ might be – perhaps ‘popping the question’, i.e. asking a woman to marry him).  Prufrock has come to represent one of the great inventions of the modern literary imagination, having become an archetype for the ‘complex’ of over-scrupulous timidity.  He is a man that is paralyzed by an overwhelming anxiety about the possibility of getting things wrong, thus his judgement has such nicety and fastidiousness that it never arrives at a decision, let alone being able to take any action.  Prufrock tries to put his feelings into words, but he is unable to finish his sentences and he is consistently struck by indecision and frustration with his own inaction along the way.

The opening line of this 140-line poem, “Let us go then, you and I” alerts the reader that the narrator is speaking to another person.  J. Alfred Prufrock is a respectable character but he has seen the seedier side of life.  He’s getting on in years probably over 40, and is acutely aware of what he’s become, as he is measuring his life in coffee spoons, losing his hair, which is turning thin.  He’s due for a refresh, a personal revolution, but he doesn’t know where to start.  He still wants to make his mark on this world, but he is hesitant to disturb the universe, because he is lacking confidence.  He comes off as being intelligent, he may have experience, but he doesn’t seem to trust in anyone or anything.  It is hard to blame him, as he sees the world is crumbling all around him.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The Long-Awaited Conjunction

On December 21, 2020 there will be a conjunction between Jupiter & Saturn and basically this means that these two celestial objects will align closely as we see them from Earth.  The Jupiter and Saturn conjunction (The Great Conjunction) actually happens every 19 years or so, but this time it will be a little more special as Jupiter and Saturn won’t have not appeared to be this close for almost 800 years!  This is a real treat for stargazers and people will be calling this the Christmas star.  The last time this happened was in 1226 A.D. and even though they will look like they are on top of each other, Saturn and Jupiter will still be 1.5 billion miles away from each other in their orbits.  During this event, Jupiter and Saturn be just 0.1 degrees apart, or a mere one-fifth the width of the Moon.  If you miss it, there will be another Great Conjunction alignment in 2080, that is if you are still around to see it.

The last time this occurred Genghis Khan the Mongol emperor was creating all types of havoc and Louis VIII, the Lion who ruled France and Saint Francis of Assisi had just died.  As these planets almost seem to collide it will form one super-bright point of light on December 21, 2020.  You won’t need binoculars or a telescope to see this and throughout the month, the gas giants will be hard to miss.  Jupiter shines brighter than any star in the sky at magnitude -2.0, while Saturn is dimmer at magnitude 0.6 but this Ringed Planet is still quite bright.  When seen from the northern hemisphere, the planets will appear low in the western sky for around an hour after sunset.

Hearty Oven Dish

Written for The Great Blogger’s Bake-Off 2020 hosted by CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE).
This is my favorite dish!
It is a Greek-style casserole called Pastitsio that is layered with pasta, spiced meat and parmesan-flavored custard.
It is a four-layer dish with the macaroni mixture making up the bottom layer and layer three.
Layer two is made of spiced meat and it is topped with a parmesan cheese sauce.

Pasta Cheese Ingredients
6 ounces Ditalini Pasta (1-1/2 cups) – elbow macaroni may be used as a substitute
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk

Spiced Meat Ingredients
1-pound ground lamb or ground beef
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Custard Sauce Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pasta Cheese Directions
Cook macaroni in a large amount of boiling salted water about 10 minutes or just till tender; drain. Combine cooked macaroni, 1 beaten egg, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup milk; set aside.

Spiced Meat Directions
In a skillet cook ground lamb or ground beef till meat is browned; drain off fat.

Stir in tomato sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

Custard Sauce Directions
For sauce, in saucepan melt butter or margarine; stir in flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Add the 11/2 cups milk all at once; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat.
Stir about half of the hot mixture into 1 beaten egg; return to remaining hot mixture in saucepan.
Stir in the 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Finishing Directions
Place half of the macaroni mixture in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. – Bottom layer
Spoon the meat mixture on top. – Layer two
Add the remaining macaroni mixture. – Layer three
Spread the sauce over all. – Top layer
Bake, uncovered, in 350℉ oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.

Diaballein by Cage Dunn – Review

I like Cage’s writing, she is very intelligent and she is a master at keeping her readers in suspense, never giving anything right away, she will make you work to find out what is going on, and you will develop questions along the way.  I am not going to try to persuade any potential readers to read her work, as my purpose is to summarize a few of her beginning chapters, so maybe this should be called a Summary instead of a Review.  Cage does a wonderful job at adding color to her stories with her descriptive adjectives and letting you inside the thoughts of her characters which makes them very relatable.  The title of this novella is a bit scary being “Diaballein’, as the word “devil” originates from the Greek word “diabolos: which means slanderer, and that word comes from diaballein.  Another meaning of this word found in the dictionary is to cast apart; to throw apart, or to scatter.

Diaballein is made up of two Latin words “Dia” meaning across and “ballein” meaning to throw, thus the devil can be looked at as “One who throws.”  Looking at the picture on the cover of this book you get the idea that Diaballein is some type of hell beast.  Cage says that this is a work of fiction and she classifies it as a horror story, so it may not be for you, if you are a fraidy-cat.  Cage makes a Confession or issues a Disclaimer about the names of the places that she uses in this book and that they do not relate to the Arabana people who live in Australia and are descendants of Aboriginals, but Cage Dunn lives in Australia and her heart is there.  Cage writes Australian stories, which are often about rural areas that include the outback.

Before the book begins, there is a Preface, or maybe an Introduction where Cage gives us a short description of Kano Varre, a research physicist and Eyza Heran a bird enthusiast.  She also lets us know that the Diaballein just broke free after being confined for a real long time and it needs a vessel to open a gateway.  In this story Kano and Eyza must defeat the Diaballein before it breeds, otherwise awful things will happen.  The book is broken up into 23 chapters which comprises about 40,000 words, so it is a quick read and once you get into it, it is hard to put down.

Chapter 1
It kicks off with an ominous, eerie feeling as Kano is hallucinating, he is exhausted and in need of water.  It is not clear exactly where Kano is, but he comes across a rock drawing and it makes him think about Diaballein.  He thinks about death and he decides to inscribe his last will with a stick and leave his possessions to his sister Casi.  He is dehydrated and starving and not sure how long he has been lost.  He is desperately searching for water, even though he needs sleep and he sees shadows and then the Diaballein looks him in the eyes and says, “We survive.”

Chapter 2
Eyza is preparing to count birds which was going to be used for her thesis, where she would conject theories, make proposals about the data she collected most likely to make a statement that bird populations change, and those fluctuations may indicate shifts in pollution levels, climate change, habitat loss, migration timing, and more.  She is certainly not a novice at this, as she knows how to remain still and use camouflage so she won’t startle the birds and she enjoys the silence and solitude.  She put her canoe in the water which was at a very high level this year, even though there was a drought everywhere else.  Eyza would concentrate on the nesting sites and the eggs, while avoiding dragonflies, frogs, snakes, sand-snails, raptors, dingoes, and other carnivores, as she was here for the millions of birds and the peace that it brought to her.  Eyza is busy with her camera, clipboard and pencil as some birds landed near her canoe and other flocks of birds hovered near by.  She recalled childhood memories of her Nan who gave her the Story Stone to wear around her neck.  She hears an eagle say, “Warning, we bring”, and she thinks that she is hallucinating.  The eagle speaks again and she asks it what it wants from her.  Eyza is in disbelief and the eagle mentions that slavery, and torture will be a blessing when Diaballein comes, which makes her tremble feeling that the family madness has set in and she would die where their ashes were scattered.

Chapter 3
Switching back to Kano who is in bad shape and still searching for water.  He remembers the flood that swept him away to this place and caused him to lose his map.  He needed the map to locate the nyomium and tantalum deposits, metals that are essential for his research to create a flexible steel which he feels is just what the modern society of Australia needs, so that buildings can resist earthquakes, and survive tsunamis.  Kano hears voices which he thinks are in his head, but he continues his conversation with the Diaballein which shoves him and then he hears music that has three words recurring, Akhlys, cognomen, and Valki.  We learn that Kano was rescued from an orphanage and he wishes that someone would save him from the ravenous beast that wants his blood.

Chapter 4
Eyza begins to panic because she misplaced her meds, the same ones that her mother was taking before she committed suicide.  She goes back to her tent and looks everywhere, but to no avail.  She starts up the generator to charge the battery for her cellphone and then she began to charge her sat-phone.  She was done with the birds and she wanted out, so she would to load the sled, top it with the canoe, and walk out till she made it to the bike, which she had hidden.  She decides to check out a long, log-shape, a lump that rolled, which is blocking the inflow of the main tributary, that she saw using her binoculars.  She makes her way to the lump and finds out that it is a mangled man.  She braved the stench and the flies to get him into her canoe which was a difficult task.  She would delay her departure till tomorrow, as she needed to get him to the tent, clean him up, get food and water into him, then phone for Emergency Services.

Chapter 5
Eyza is cold and she makes soup, but she has a difficult time feeding it to this big lump of a man, as he kept knocking the spoon away.  She stripped to her underwear and socks and slid in next to the shivering body and zipped herself into the sleeping bag with him.  He wakes up wondering if he is alive and Eyza tells him that he needs to rest and then he asks her why he is naked and she tells him that she had to clean all of the mud off of him.  He was glad that he was still alive and she was happy that she was not alone.

Chapter 6
The Diaballein needs to get back to the rock, but he can’t cross the water.  The world had changed since he was last here.  We are given information on the Diaballein and their weapons of flame and their dislike of salt and humans.  He stole the life force from a woman and this particular Diaballein is the gatekeeper and many more are waiting.  Apparently, they were defeated by the humans and entombed in rock.  Kano wonders how he got back to the gorge, which makes me think that this book skipped some details of how he got here, but I assume that Cage will eventually fill in the time lapse of this story.  The smell of a woman is on his hand, but his memory is foggy and he thinks that he is hallucinating again.  Kano is obsessed with his mission to discover a flexible steel and this sheer drive would prevent the Diaballein from taking over his mind, although he is hearing voices that he does not understand.

Chapter 7
Eyza wakes up alone in the tent and finds that many things are missing.  She finds her phone, but the charge is very low, so someone must have been using it.  She decides to recharge the phone and if the man does not come back, she will leave without him.  Being off of her medication, made her wonder what was real.  She is tired and having trouble trying to focus, and she is out of food and water.  She starts to pack and finds the man’s wallet and sees that the name on the licence is Kano Varre and that he works for a company named Valki.  She recalls that her Nan mentioned a hero warrior with that name.  She sees lots of smoke and she knows that she has to locate the fire.  The phone has a charge and she is mostly packed when she thinks she hears the eagle talking again.  She left her tent up and heads into the gorge.  She listens to the birds panicking as they leave the fire.  She spots the man who she thinks stole her supplies.

Chapter 8
Kano gathers the strength to stand and he sees a tent and wonders if the woman that he was with was just a dream.  His heart pounds as he sees a woman approaching him and when she gets closer, he tells her to go away.  She tells him that he is rude and calls him a thief.  Kano asks her to kill him, because he feels like something got inside of him that is telling him to eat her.  She wants him to keep walking so the fire doesn’t get them and she assures him that it is not a demon, that madness has set in.

Chapter 9
The flames are close behind them and Kano says that he is not delusional and that he will become a vessel for a Diaballein.  He tells her that he tried to drown himself in salt last night in order to distract the demon.  She lets him know that she found his wallet, she wants to know why he is out here, all the while trying to keep him moving.  Kano is incoherent and she fears that he has gone mad.

I don’t want to ruin the remaining chapters for anyone who wants to read this book, so I am ending my summary here.  I can’t make a prediction of what will happen next with Kano being haunted by a Diaballein and Eyza being off of her meds.  Will they get out of the fire and become lovers or will the Diaballein open up a gate for the rest of the monsters to take over earth?  I will have to finish reading this story, but it will go much easier without having to take notes.

Green Beer, Corned Beef and Leprechauns

Happy Saint Patrick’s day, I hope everyone has something green to wear, so you don’t end up getting pinched by any leprechauns.  If you are not Irish, than you might not be aware that leprechauns are not able to see anyone who is wearing green and thus it keeps you from being pinched.  I have my corned beef in the crock pot with my potatoes, but it is on slow and I will not eat it till tomorrow.  Erin Go Bragh, or Erin go braless, whatever floats your boat.  I will leave you with the Green Beer song which is only made once a year.

Area Of A Round Field

The Egyptians knew how to calculate the area of a square or rectangular field, by taking the length of one side and multiplying it by the width of another side, but areas became more difficult when they had to work with circles.  The Rhind Mathematical dates back to about 1650 BC and it is named after the Scottish antiquarian Alexander Henry Rhind who purchased the papyrus in 1858 in Luxor, Egypt, which was apparently found during illegal excavations. It is one of the main sources of our knowledge of Egyptian mathematics.  It is also called the Ahmes Papyrus, as Ahmes or Ahmose or A’h-mose papyrus, as he was the Egyptian scribe from the Second Intermediate Period and the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty who is credited for copying a set of mathematical procedures for this manuscript.  Thus the Rhind papyrus is named after the person who purchased it and the Ahmes Papyrus is named after the person who wrote it, so we have two different names for the same thing.

Since today March 14th is Pi day, I will explain how this document helped the Egyptians figure out the area of a circular field. The Rhind Papyrus gives us an ancient estimation for pi, which it is fairly accurate.  The Egyptian measurement of area is termed the ‘setat’ and this was defined by a square with sides being 100 cubits long.  Problem 50 of this document questioned how the area of a circular field could be determined if the diameter was known.

The Egyptians used a khet for measurement of length and this is about 50 meters.  This circular field had a diameter of 9 khet and Ahmes stated that the way to solve this is by: Taking away 1/9 of this area, giving you the remainder of 8.  Then you solve the area using this 8 as being a side of a square, so you multiply 8 times 8 you will get an area of 64 setat.  The solution for this problem of determining the area A of a circle that has a known diameter d can be stated with a modern formula, that looks like this: A = (d – 1)2.  This formula when the diameter is 9 is actually a very close approximation to the modern formula that we use for area of a circle being A = πr2.  The problem with this formula is that it only works well within a limited range of diameters, as you can see in the table below.  If the diameter is less than 6 or more than 11, you are not getting that good of an estimate.

Circle Diameter 6 7 8 9 10 11
Ahmes A = (d – 1)2 25 36 49 64 81 100
Modern A = πr2 28.26 38.47 50.24 63.6 78.5 94.99

History gives us a glimpse into the past, but it does not tell us everything, so we need to speculate about what happened from the facts that we know.  Math is an exact science, it is about getting the correct solutions to problems and this is only accomplished by being consistently accurate.  The Rhind Papyrus gives us insight into the mathematics of ancient Egypt, but more is needed so we can understand how the Egyptians were able to calculate the area of a circle using the value of 3.1605 to represent π, which would not become a thing till much later.  Mathematicians began using the Greek letter π in the 1700s.  It was introduced by William Jones in 1706, and the use of the symbol π was popularized by Leonhard Euler, when he adopted it in 1737.  There is a story here between the history and the math, which I will relate to you, as I love explaining things.

Did the Egyptians construct a table like the one that is above and realize that this obscure formula only worked within a certain range of numbers?  I guess we will never know for sure, but their value for π was based off of the circular field problem from the Rhind papyrus and this problem #50 does use the diameter of 9.  How did the Egyptians actually came up with their estimation for the value of Pi π or Π that was equal to  or 3.16, which is very close to the 3.14 that was calculated much later?   You might say that this was good enough for government work, which use to mean that it could pass the most rigorous of standards, but today this means that the job did get done, but probably not with the best work and it would only meet the minimal acceptable standards.

Going back to our problem, we now know that the correct circle area formula is A = πr2, but since the Egyptians liked to use the diameter instead of the radius, they did not have A = π2.  Looking at the circular field problem, the diameter that we are given in the Rhind Papyrus is 9, and knowing that 2r is the diameter, if we take 1/9 of the diameter we would get  (1/9)  (2r). Now if we “cut off” 1/9 of the diameter and then we subtract that from the original diameter this will give us, 2r – (1/9)  (2r), which leaves us (8/9)(2r).  We turn that length into the side of a square, thus the area is the expression to be squared is [(8/9)(2r)]2.  This simplifies to become [(256/81)(r)]2 and the Egyptians almost had it.  They used a rational number (a number which can be expressed as a ratio) being the fraction 256/81.  It would take a long time to discover that the value of π was irrational.  That is enough math for one day, as I don’t want anyone’s head to explode, but next year on Pi Day, we will get into some deep stuff discussing Leonhard Euler and π.  Until then make sure that you enjoy some pie today.

Debilitating Injury

The nurse came into my room and said, “Mr. Jones bathing is no small matter especially for someone like you with your current mobility issues.  Assisting our patients to maintain proper hygiene is a fundamental aspect of nursing care.  We need to reduce the spread of infections and we don’t want you getting a rash or some type of bed sores.  I am concerned with your comfort, safety, well-being and dignity and I understand how difficult it would be for you to bathe yourself, so it is time for your first sponge bath and during your prolonged stay here, this will become part of your daily routine.  Bed bathing is a personal and intrusive procedure and I will do my best to meet your intimate needs and eventually you will be able to schedule your bath times based on your own personal preferences.  I will use this wet sponge to cleanse all areas of your body and these washcloths to rinse you off and when you get stronger I can help you with an actual shower, as that would allow you to properly wash your hair.”  I was in a car accident two days ago where I broke my arm, my leg and ruptured my spleen, and I was still in a lot of pain even though they put me on meds.  I was told that it would take a month for me to recover from my accident and I was hooked up to a drip thingy and they inserted a catheter (specialized medical devices used to facilitate the release of fluids) through my urethra into my urinary bladder to assist with my urine release.  I told my nurse that she should do whatever she needs to do.

The nurse said, “Some nurses consider this to be a mundane task that they feel is unpleasant, repetitive and requires physical work, but giving you a sponge bath will allow me to better access your mobility, hygiene, dressing and your continence needs.  The time that we spend together with me giving you sponge baths will enhance the nurse patient relationship that I hope to form with you.  Communication between us will enable us to discuss any handle issues or concerns that you have regarding your personal care plan or treatment regimen.  If you don’t feel like talking that is fine and I will try to observe all of your non-verbal cues, such as grimacing or frowning, which may suggest that you are experiencing pain or discomfort.  I look forward to the sponge baths as they are a great opportunity for me to assess your physical and psychological state, possibly detecting potential anxieties and fears that you may have.  Your cooperation and meaningful conversation will enable me to provide a supportive dialogue so we can discuss any sensitive and difficult issues or anything else that may arise.”

I told my nurse that I hoped that nothing would rise up, but that I could not make any guarantees about any involuntary actions.  She smiled at me and said, “I am going to shut the door, close the blinds and pull the partition curtains closed around your bed for more privacy and then I will help you to sit up, as I need to undress you before I bathe you.  I understand that bath time can be awkward and embarrassing at first, but you should get used to this after a while.  I have seen it all before, so there is no need for you to try and cover up or hide anything from me.”  The nurse shut the door closed the blinds and then she pulled the curtains closed around my bed.  Then she put on gloves and she helped me to sit up and she asked me to try and slide over to the side of the bed so that she could place a waterproof mat on top of the bed sheets to keep the bed dry.  She removed my hospital gown and I laid naked on the bed for a moment till she pulled up the blanket to cover my groin and legs.  Then she helped me to slide back over toward the center of the bed and she started setting up all of her supplies, which included towels, wash basins (one for soapy water, one for rinsing), liquid soap, wipes, no-rinse shampoo, body lotion and a new dressing gown.

The nurse dipped her sponge into the water and she said, “A good bed bath should always leave the patient feeling clean and comfortable, so let me know if the water is too hot, or too cold or anything that you need me to adjust.  It is important that I rinse you off right after I wash you as other soap residue will remain on your body and that might leave you feeling sticky.  I will start with your face and then I will wash your arms and chest, unless you have preference for me to do this in a different order.  Then I will have you sit up so I can wash your hair and your back.”  The nurse washed, rinsed and dried my face, arms, chest, my hair and my back and then she said, “Now that wasn’t so bad was it?”  I nodded at her and she said, “A bed bath can be either a pleasurable or a stressful experience, most of my patients seem to enjoy it, but for others it causes them distress.  I need to raise up the blanket that is covering the lower part of your body and I am going to wash you completely, cleaning your genitals and then I will have you turn on your side so I can wash your anus.  I will start with your feet and then move to your legs, so you will only be completely exposed to me for a short time.  If you get uncomfortable at any time, all you have to say is stop and we can discuss your needs.”

I told my nurse that I wass good so far and that I was happy that she was so good at explaining things to me as she gave me this spong bath and I was actually starting to relax as it felt good being clean again.  She pulled the blanket up to expose my feet which she cleaned thouroughly and then she lifted the blanket higher to wash my legs.  My nurse said, “I may have to spend a bit more time washing your penis because of the catheter that you have, as I need to be real carful that it does not come out and I hope that you are OK with that.  Once I raise up the blanket, I will ask you to bend your knees and try to spread your legs apart to give me better access.  I will also need to wash behind your testicles and I know that this will be the most embarrassing part of this process, so I will try to work quickly with a purposeful attitude.”  My bath was done and I smiled at my nurse and I told her that it was much better than I originally thought that it would be and that I might even be able to get used to this.  My nurse smiled back at me again and she said, “Mr. Jones I was right when I told you that bathing was no small matter.”

Another Award

Already having the Unique Blogger Award, the Awesome Blogger Award and the Liebster Award, I am actually hoping that I do not get any more awards now that I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I guess that every award that a blogger obtains, makes them feel a little bit better about all of the hard work that they put into their posts.  The sunshine blogger award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who find your posts to be creative, talented, entertaining, positive, optimistic and or inspiring and also are spreading sunshine throughout the blogging community. It is hard for me to express how excited I am to be receiving this award, and it is probably expressed best by what Wayne and Garth said, “We are not worthy.”

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

I am very pleased and honored to announce that blogger visheshsajalkhare of My struggle against silence just nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award and I want to thank him for nominating me for this prestigious award.https://mystruggleagainstsilence0.wordpress.com/2018/03/23/sunshine-blogger/

  • Answer the 11 questions that you were asked.
  • Compose 11 questions for bloggers who you nominate for them to answer.
  • Nominate 5 bloggers that you admire and notify them.
  • List these rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post or blog.

Questions that I need to answer

Where are you from (country)?
What are your worst fears in life?
Since how long you’ve been blogging?
11 months to the day
What do you like writing about most?
Responding to prompts
What is your All time favorite movie?
El Topo
What’s your favorite pastime or hobby?
How does writing help you?
It forces me to use my brain
What are the things that make you most happy?
My writing
What is the biggest accomplishment of your life?
My unpublished books
If you could become invisible for one day, what’s the first thing that you’d do?
Sit in the oval office
What’s the biggest quality that you think you have?
My belly

Questions for my nominee’s.

  1. Why did you decide to become a blogger?
  2. What do you love best about blogging?
  3. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
  4. What is the biggest struggle that you face when it comes to blogging?
  5. What is your proudest blogging moment?
  6. How much time does your blog take up from your daily routine?
  7. What are your posts mostly about?
  8. What is your favorite food and/or cuisine?
  9. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
  10. What is your idea of a perfect day?
  11. How would you describe your fashion style?

Winner, winner chicken diner, congratulations to all of my nominees and I hope you enjoy answering my questions. Now for my nominee’s.

Since turnabout is fair play, my first two nominees will be bloggers that have nominated me for previous awards.

Fandango https://fivedotoh.com/
Jina S. Bazzar https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/
Cage Dunn https://cagedunn.wordpress.com/
short-prose-fiction https://shortprose.blog/
Tricia http://heavensgps.wordpress.com


My Third Award

I have already received the Unique Blogger Award and the Awesome Blogger Award, so this makes 3 for me.  My favorite blogger Fandango This, That and The Other Random Musings on Life Society and Politics just nominated me for the Liebster award.  He writes a lot of character based blogs that tell short stories and seriously if you are not familiar with his blog, you definitely need to check him out, because he is sure to male you smile.  He actually thought that it was possible that this Liebster award may have been a misspelling of the word “lobster”.  Now that is funny and I found out that there is actually is an American ticketing company named Fandango that sells movie tickets and features reviews on movie awards and they did a review of the movie Lobster which you can read here www.fandango.com/thelobster_186318/awards.  Fandango told me that his blogger name comes from that Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody and I need to thank him for honoring me with this nomination.

I am not really deserving of this award, as it is supposed to celebrate new bloggers who show great potential and it should only be given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  I just checked and as of today, I saw that I have 251.  I also need to answer 11 questions then I’m supposed to nominate five other bloggers who I think are deserving of the Liebster award and ask each of them the same 11 questions.

The 11 questions are:

#1: If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you like to be right now?
I have always wanted to visit Southern Europe, so I will say Rome, Italy.

#2. What is your favorite hobby?
I like golf!

#3. Name one person you admire and why?
Bob Dylan for refusing to accept the 2016 Nobel literature prize.

#4. What do you hope to accomplish, if anything, from blogging?
It passes my time, while keeping me out of trouble.

#5. Name one thing that you absolutely detest.
Whining bloggers that complain about their personal issues.

#6. What inspires you the most?
Purchasing lottery tickets.

#7. If you could live at any time in history, when would it be and why?
The Black Plague of the Dark Ages.

#8 Name something on your bucket list.
Nudist colony!

#9. What do you think awaits us beyond death?
Saint Peter and the pearly gates.

#10. Do you believe we, individually, have a life’s purpose?
The world is one big birthday cake, so have a slice on me.

#11. Name a “super-power” you’d like to have.
Wisdom that gives me the ability to see the truth.

My questions which are to be answered by the nominees that I will select.

  1. What do you do when you are not blogging?
  2. Do you spend more time per day writing your blog or reading other blogs?
  3. What is your favorite writing challenge to participate in?
  4. Have you ever won any other blogging awards?
  5. Do you think that your blogging has improved since your first blog?
  6. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
  7. Do you have any pets?
  8. If you met a genie that gave you 3 wishes, what would they be?
  9. What are you most afraid of?
  10. Do you have a bucket list, and if so name one thing that is on it?
  11. Is there something that keeps you going on a bad day?

Now for the hard part of nominating 5 other bloggers as it is not like they are getting a Pulitzer prize.  I hate perpetuating chain letters and I admit that all of these blogging awards are stupid, but on the other hand, I am always looking for something to write about.  I am apologizing in advance in case you think that this is nothing more than an annoying chain letter that you don’t want to waste your time with.  I can see how this award could be viewed as a participation trophy, as it is just a virtual award and you actually don’t win anything of any value, but in my opinion, you are all good bloggers whose posts I enjoy reading.  It will take some effort if you decide to accept this award, as you will need to answer the questions that I ask you, use these same questions or create a new list of questions for your own nominees and of course keep this going by selecting 5 bloggers that you want to nominate for this prestigious award and notify them.

Without further ado, my nominees are:


J-Dubs Grin and Bear It

Anything is Possible!

stoner on a rollercoaster

The Perks of being Different

OOPS Awesome Blogger Award

I answered the wrong questions, so please disregard my previous post. I have a lot of respect for Jina Bazzar authors inspirations not only for her writing ability, but for her strength to overcome adversities.  She nominated me for a prestigious award, but since I do not like to promote chain letters, I will only be nominating a blogger named Sight11 or JOURNEY.  You should check out Jina’s blog at https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/im-baaaack-well-sort-of/  You might also want to look at Sight11 at https://sight0.wordpress.com/

1- Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in hopes of promoting my second book.

2- Do you choose the contents of your blog by random or do you have a system?
I write in a lot of the challenges which feature writing prompts and sometimes I will do my own thing.

3- Do you rather type the contents of your post on a keyboard – all ten fingers – or on a screen with thumbs?
95% are done on my desktop with one or two fingers.  I am a horrible typist some sometimes I will pay my students to type them for me.

4- If technology was to become extinct but there was one thing that you could keep, what would it be?
The Internet.

5- Is there a type of blog that you seek to follow, or do you only follow those who follow you – or do you only follow the blogs that you really enjoy?
I only follow a few blogs of writers that I enjoy.

6- During a cold storm, would you rather spend your time reading, watching a movie or talking on the phone?

7- When you hear the word fantasy, what comes first to your mind?
Cage Dunn and Michael, Morpethroad

8- Have you ever lied about having a commitment so you could stay at home lazing around or blogging, or just to finish reading a book you particularly enjoyed?
Just like George Washington, it is impossible for me to tell a lie.

9- What’s a word you can’t stop using on your posts but think you should?

10- If you were asked to rename your blog, what would you name it?
Tired Old man