Just got back home

from a while away and I am going away again soon and while I am home, I am working on papers to get away again somewhere else.

I am thinking about writing a paper on some novels that R and I like and discussing them in terms of the tradition of gothic. This would be fun and could be quite interesting.

But it seems odd that I am just home and am writing stuff.

My Life

My life has been very busy.

I am teaching four classes. I have eight presentations at conferences. I have two articles to write. My father was in the hospital for 45 days and I spent 40 hours a week up there. When he got out, my mother went into the hospital for a week. I spent about 20 hours up there. (My mother had pneumonia and was very tired. When she was less tired, her best friend came into town, so I didn’t feel I needed to be there.)

All that to say that I have so much going on that I really don’t have a lot of time to post on this blog, which is bad because it is my “outboard brain,” my online memory, and my thoughts-online hoarder.

In honor of Lent, I deleted thirty blogs from my online reading list. I was inspired in this by Happy Catholic. I am not sure how much extra time it will give me, since these days I have only been reading blogs when
a. either I have a lot of time, or
b. when my brain needs down time.

So I am not sure it will really simplify my life. I went from eight military blogs to one. I dropped every single personal blog except The Common Room. I kept two Catholic blogs, which is a bit odd since I’m not Catholic, but they are a balm to my soul. Most of the other blogs are for my work and I don’t feel that weeding them out would do me any good and would potentially cost me in effectiveness.

My life is not going to be getting much easier, either.

This summer
I have two conferences.
I have accepted another article to write this summer, along with an entire book.
I am teaching a course in Maymester.

This fall
I am teaching six courses, so far. I have been asked to teach seven.
I am supposed to be teaching a possible two continuing education classes. (I might do one. I am NOT doing the other.)
I have three conferences (I hope).

So I don’t think I will have time to devote as much time to this blog as I want.

But it has been a great blessing in my life and I am so grateful to my husband for helping me set it up all those years ago. Thank you, honey.

Maybe I should just disown my family.

Then I wouldn’t have to deal with all their weirdnesses.

My mother was sick this last weekend and by Monday was coughing, moving very slowly, and running a fever. She went to the doctor and he admitted her to the hospital.

My sisters were both mad that Mom went in. Today I was talking to my brother (who just arrived in town today) and he said Mother did not appear sick, except for a cough. I told him that Mom was sick and that she had been having issues with confusion. His response? She exaggerates. She probably didn’t really think my younger son was 17 or that my elder son was born in November. She was just pretending for attention.

I really don’t like my family very much right now. Yes, my mother has a high need for attention. Considering how little attention she got all her life, though, that is not surprising. (Look at Janice Radway’s 1984 discussion of Smithton women for a thorough introduction to this issue-among people who are not identified as dysfunctional or mentally ill.)

I just… don’t like it. I love them. They have been my family for 40+ years. But, dang, they’re the monkey with their hand caught in the jar. No matter what else is going on, they won’t let go.

Of course, they probably feel that I have inherited mother’s naivete, an aspect of her personality that also worries them. (And to some extent they are correct.)

Oh well.

Guess I will just have to let it go and go back to working on my papers that are due this week.

Pathology in psychology. What does it mean?

As Feminist theorist Gilligan (1993) has argued compellingly, implicit in this model of male development is an understanding of psychological health as being synonymous with autonomy and separateness. Conversely pathology and moral weakness within psychoanalytic theory have traditionally been seen as resulting from a failure to define oneself as separate from the other. (13)

Ah. I have had this problem with therapists. R and I went as newlyweds to get help in being better husband and wife. The therapists did not know what to do to help us since we had no pathology. They gave us a test that showed that we were too “intertwined” with each other and not separate enough. (What did they expect of newlyweds?) Then they said they guessed it was okay if we both wanted to be pathological. At least we were in agreement on our dysfunction.

I have always been annoyed by that. It happened in 1989 or 1990. I have read Gilligan, but I didn’t realize that she was talking about our experience. Very useful. We were non-patriarchical, non-pyramidic, and thus did not fit their Western/American expectations of individualism outside of a group.

Quote from: Liebman, Samuel J. and Steven C. Abell. “Reconstructing the Sacred: Evolving Conceptualizations of Religious Faith in Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice.” Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 30.1 (2000): 7-25. ProQuest.


Update: No. Not Atlantis. The lines came from Google’s sonar equipment. Drats.

The Sun:

THIS is the amazing image which could show the fabled sunken city of Atlantis.
It shows a perfect rectangle the size of Wales lying on the bed of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3½ miles down.

A host of criss-crossing lines, looking like a map of a vast metropolis, are enclosed by the boundary.

Life in my family

My dad got out of the hospital Friday. He is home and not trying very hard, it seems to me. His therapy is down to three times a week, because they don’t think he is strong enough for anything else, though he had 5x a week at the hospital.

My mom is in the hospital with pneumonia. She went in on Tuesday. Since then I have been up there three times, for a total of two hours or so. M went with me. My sisters have been up there maybe fifteen minutes total. My dad went for six minutes. And that’s it.

My sisters are mad at my mother for being in the hospital. But she is sick. You can hear it.

And the doctor said she had pneumonia and put her in there.

She didn’t get sick for fun and she says she doesn’t need anyone to be with her…. Thankfully (or not, depending on whether you ask me or my sisters) my mom’s bestfriend is flying in on Friday. I’m picking her up at the airport and taking her to mom at the hospital.

I wonder if I should tell my sisters she is coming, or just leave that to my mother to tell.

I am feeling very disaffected or lots of alienation of affection right now from both my family and my country.

Video games are good.

Finally, an EU report that I like.

“Video games are in most cases not dangerous and can even contribute to the development of important skills,” said Toine Manders, the Dutch liberal lawmaker who drafted the report.

“(They stimulate) learning of facts and skills such as strategic reflection, creativity, cooperation and a sense of innovation,” a news release on the report said.

Vitamin D too low?

That’s a problem. It may explain why you are overweight.

Overweight? Part of the problem may be low vitamin D levels, a new study hints.

Among a group of 90 young women living in sunny southern California, those with insufficient levels of vitamin D were significantly heavier and had greater body mass than their counterparts with sufficient levels of vitamin D, Dr. Vicente Gilsanz, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and colleagues found.

It’s correlatory rather than causal, but still…

Update on my Dad

Still in the hospital.

He got two day passes and went home this weekend. He went for about seven hours on Saturday and five on Sunday. He wanted to go back to the hospital and seemed relieved to be there.

I don’t know why.

His language is improving. We are working on sentences and questions.

He got mail and won’t read the cards. Dingbat.

He is getting extra therapy, four hours instead of three, because he is making such good progress.

The nurse forgot to bring in his medicine at noon (which is supposed to keep him alert) and he was asleep for the evening, probably, by 3:45. Of course, he was through with his therapy and probably needed the sleep. I hope he did indeed sleep through the night (or relatively).

The stress of having him in the hospital is high.

I don’t think the stress of having him home will be any lower.

I got some papers graded today and then just gave up because it is so hard to grade. But I need to get them done by Wednesday at 8 am. And I will. I have taken as long as I can, and maybe longer. They were turned in last Wednesday. That will make a whole week I’ve had to grade them.

I got really low blood sugar today around 2:30 and ended up eating peanut butter and crackers and drinking apple juice. Not exactly low carb.

Right now Dad is scheduled to get out on Feb. 16. I figure that is when he’ll actually be released.

We need ramps at home and we need a tub extension. It would be good if we could have a grab bar installed in his tub before he gets home, too.

Years ago someone got on my case for giving the boys empty calories.

The empty calories they were specifically discussing were juice.

Turns out that apple juice can help stave off Alzheimers.

Reuters Health said:

Drinking apple juice helps slow the accumulation of the protein fragments that damage the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, new research in mice shows.

The protein fragments, known as beta-amyloid, are the building blocks of the plaques that form in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings don’t suggest that Alzheimer’s disease can be treated by gulping gallons of apple juice, but they do point to the importance of long-term nutrition in preventing aging-related changes like those seen in Alzheimer’s disease, Thomas B. Shea of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the co-author of the current study, said in an interview with Reuters Health.