Mind Spill

I awoke about 2:30 this morning. I got up for a while, then went back to bed to try to sleep. Eventually, after what seemed like an hour, I drifted off. But I awoke again just before five with an ache in my upper back, just below my neck. It’s reminiscent of the pain I had a few years ago, when I learned I have bone spurs and stenosis of some vertebrae; that causes nerves to be snagged or pinched, resulting in pain in my back, shoulders, and right arm. Fortunately, I feel no pain in my shoulders and arm. I may have spoken too soon; my shoulders are beginning to ache, too. This pain may be completely unrelated to my earlier bout. In fact, I suspect it may be caused by stress. This is not a good time to have physical maladies, in that my wife is returning home today from the rehab center. She needs me to be in top form so I can help her convalesce. The answer is: Chill. Relax. Unflinch.

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Against my better judgment, I watched last night’s presidential debate. While it did not replicate the chaos of the first one (of which I watched only a few minutes before turning off the television as an act of self-preservation), it was a pointless exercise. People have made up their minds by now. Either they remain locked in blind allegiance to an incompetent con artist and liar or they reject him and opt to take their chances with the other guy. That’s not a particularly glowing endorsement, but at least the other guy recognizes the need to give credence to advice from people with expertise in many, many disciplines (rather than claim absolute, “perfect” knowledge of areas utterly out of his depth). I hope against hope for a landslide victory for the other guy.

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There was a time not so long ago that I would have said I would jump at the chance to move to a Scandinavian country. Lately, though, after watching several political and crime dramas set in Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, I have begun to question that concept. If the dramas present realistic experiences that take place in those countries, those places are not as “pure” as I’ve wanted to believe. The series I’ve watched have shown violent drug culture, murders, political backstabbing, and various other forms of human deviance. Maybe, though, television and film from those countries is like our own: exaggerated portrayals of relatively rare occurrences. Moving to Scandinavia would involve language problems, too. That’s a downside. But, then, is there anyplace in the world today I could consider a true haven? With COVID-19 spreading like wildfire, is it possible to find safety and serenity anywhere? I am afraid not. So, the question becomes: where is the least treacherous place, the place where serenity might visit on occasion? I am still looking.

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Speaking of Scandinavian dramas, I was several episodes into the series Deadwind (a Finnish crime drama) when Netflix went wonky. When I try to watch Deadwind, the system freezes.  This has been going on for several days. After a few tries, I gave up and switched to something else. My first switch, last Monday, landed me on a film I recommend highly: The Trial of the Chicago 7. It brought back the emotions I felt during the 1968 demonstrations and subsequent police rage. Before Deadwind and The Trial of the Chicago 7, I watched Borderliner (also known as Grenseland), categorized as a Nordic noir crime drama. I enjoyed it very much, too. I recommend it. Before that, I tried to watch Schitt’s Creek; I managed to watch four episodes of the first season. I wanted to like it, because it has received such glowing critical reviews. But I could not; I found it slapstick silly; a waste of time. I might return to it one day, but for now I’ll stick to stuff that I find more appealing.

I also watched the pilot for the series Ratched.  I think I will enjoy it, but I will have to be in the right frame of mind. I’m not there at the moment.

As I think of all the Nordic dramas I want to watch, I wonder whether I will be able to do it. My wife’s return home will certainly change my routines; I may have to devote considerable time to her, as opposed to whiling away hours watching television. We’ll see, we will.

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I have not had breakfast yet and I think I might forego it this morning. I am not hungry in the least. I know what I’ll  have for lunch; tuna salad. When I got up this morning, I made tuna salad even before I made a cup of coffee. I hope my wife will be hungry for lunch when she gets home and I know she enjoys a simple tuna salad. Dinner tonight is up in the air. While I’m willing to cook, I think my time this afternoon will be better spent getting used to the wheelchair, hospital bed, Hoyer lift, etc. And talking with my wife. My wife’s sister will be here and I think she is willing to pick up dinner for us from El Jimador; my wife loves Mexican food and I am certain she has had none for the last three months, so I hope either  Ranchero Jalisco or chile verde will please her taste buds. But she gets to choose, not me.

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The Democratic Club of Hot Springs Village is having a shindig today, including free brats and beer. I had planned on attending, but will miss it. It’s really rather heart-warming to see a fairly large contingent of progressives in Hot Springs Village. We’re far outnumbered by conservatives and their mutant brethren, Tea Partiers. But that does not dissuade us from announcing that we are proud liberals. While I do not necessarily buy into all aspects of the Democratic Party platform, my philosophies tend to mirror those that launch Democratic positions. So, it’s as close as I come to having an organization that represents my point of view.

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I’ve been writing here, off and on, for too long. Time to face the day.

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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