I Am Still Among You…

No good reason for my having neglected this blog for almost a month.  Three nights per week I am at the Main Library while Susie is in rehearsal for Bugsy Malone, Jr.  (The Davis Center is just a five-minute stride through the Deaf School Park and the Topiary Garden from the main library, which is where I hang out during rehearsals.)

One reason that I have slackened off in writing this blog is because of the side effects of a change in medicine.  After my blood draw, Dr. Schneir, my shrink, increased my dosage of Lithium from 450 mg to 1350 mg per day.  I’m sure it’ll help me even more several weeks down the road, but the side effects–headaches, jittery hands, lack of fine motor skills in the hands, irritability–are not pleasant for me or anyone else.  My typing and handwriting skills have suffered, although they’re on the way back.  (My fine motor coordination has never been wonderful to start with, although it’s paradoxical.  I can type 90+ words per minute using only my index fingers, but I have never been able to shuffle cards and I can barely use a knife and fork.)

I realized that I must have a very inflated sense of how important I am or will be in the future.  Last week, I started a third simultaneous diary.  (The longhand one in my composition book is one, this blog is another.)  I’m putting to use the Pearlcorder S701 that I bought as a taped diary.  I’m recording at slow speed, so I’m getting double the usage of those microcassettes.  I don’t think this very often, but thank God for cell phones.  Now I don’t look quite so abnormal sitting by myself or walking down the street, animatedly talking into a piece of plastic.

Currently, I’m emulating Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Hemingway.  I’m in the children’s section of the Main Library, using an Express Computer.  Like Asperger Tom and Papa Hemingway, I’m writing standing up, since there is no chair at this machine.  Susie and I came here after going to a matinee performance of Kabuki Sleeping Beauty at the Davis–as if I’m not spending enough of my life there lately!

An icon just flashed up saying that I have about five minutes left, so I’ll post this to cyberspace and try to promise my hordes of readers that I’ll be more diligent in maintaining this blog.

Stage Dad Confessions

Tonight is Susie’s second night of rehearsal for Bugsy Malone, Jr. at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts.  Since she’s in the theatre right now, I’m over at the library nearby.  I’ve been jotting some ideas in a notebook for an article I’m planning to write and submit for publication soon.  (I won’t say anymore until it actually hits public print.  I’m not supersitious, but it always seems to be detrimental to tip your hand about something like that too soon.)  I was glancing at Nat Hentoff’s excellent book, Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other, and I glanced at the Marietta newspaper online.  (I have a morbid streak; I usually go straight to the obituaries when I get the newspaper up on the screen.)  Then, at last, my reservation time came so I decided to log onto LiveJournal, sit down here at the computer, and open a vein.

I had an abbreviated work day today, and I feel a little guilty about it, because there is still an enormous backlog of doctors’ reports in WinScribe that my intrepid co-pilot Lynne and I have yet to transcribe.  I came in at 8 a.m., my usual time, and we had a minor crisis about a docket that was incorrectly charged and then taken down to the hearing rooms.   I did about 2/3 of a psychiatrist’s report–at least it was something fairly interesting!–and at noon I had to cut out for a union meeting.  After the union meeting, I left for the day because I had a doctor’s appointment today.

Not much to report about the doctor’s (shrink) appointment itself.  The bus ride out to his office (at Mount Carmel East’s campus) is long enough that I was able to read quite a bit of Zodiac, Robert Graysmith’s book.  (I’ve owned the Berkley paperback of it for some time, but this is the first time I’ve seriously read it.  Among serious Zodiologists, it’s known as “the yellow book.”)

The doctor has prescribed some blood work for me, since he wants to chart the levels of Lithium in my blood.  I’ll post the results once I take the damn test.  I am not squeamish about blood draws–I used to earn extra beer money donating plasma when I was at Ohio U., and those harpoons they use for plasmapheresis are scary–but I cannot relax until I know the person drawing my blood is proficient with the needle.  I’ve had bad experiences with blood draws at Lower Lights Christian Health Center, where there were so many botched attempts that my arm looked like a heroin addict’s before they got a tube of testable blood.

According to the blood work order, the doctor has diagnosed me as having: 244.9, unspecified acquired hypothyroidism; and 296.35, major depressive affective disorder, recurrent episode, in partial or unspecified remission.  I do feel like the depression is in a bit of remission, but in my case, it’s like multiple sclerosis–relapsing-remitting.  I’m feeling pretty good right now, and I’m enjoying taking Susie to Bugsy Malone, Jr. and I’m looking forward to breakfast at Tommy’s Diner tomorrow before work (Steph’s birthday is tomorrow), but I also know that could change in a flash.  Tomorrow night at bedtime, I could be praying that I won’t wake up come morning.  The depression is something that completely blindsides me when it comes, so I try to be on my guard against it.


Very rarely will I attend a first-run movie.  I’m usually too poor or too overbooked, so I wait until a movie hits the dollar theatres or I wait until it comes out on DVD and borrow it from the public library.  (I’m about #200 for the DVD of The Black Dahlia!).

But I made an exception this afternoon.  I went to the Drexel Gateway, near the Ohio State campus, and I saw Zodiac.  It is fantastic.  It’s directed by David Fincher (of Se7en and Panic Room fame), and tells the story of the Zodiac killer through the eyes of the personnel of The San Francisco Chronicle and the police departments of the various jurisdictions where Zodiac was killing.  The Chronicle got into the story because Zodiac would flood them with letters and greeting cards between, or just after, murders.  A bloody scrap of one murder victim’s shirt was enclosed in one letter.  The police departments were all conscientiously searching, but they spent a lot of time chasing their tails because there was no effective way to communicate among the different departments–this was pre-Internet, pre-cell phone, and almost pre-fax.

The movie is based on two books by Robert Graysmith, who at the time of the killings was an editorial cartoonist for The Chronicle.  Graysmith is fascinated with the Zodiac at the expense of his social life, mental stability, and ultimately, his marriage.

I am sure that the Webmasters of another site, http://www.zodiackiller.com, have been ecstatic since the movie was released Friday.  They run a very informative Website based in Oregon, and lately have been selling their product, The Ultimate Zodiac Video, online retooled as a DVD.  I bought it on VHS last year, and the best title for it would have been Beavis and Butt-head’s Guide to Zodiac.  Taking their video cameras, they go and visit the sites of the murders, including the ones in Riverside and Vallejo, California, and describe what happened, who was where, etc.  That is okay–they have done their homework.  But taking pictures of each other posing with beer cans, or smoking cigarettes, or goofing around in front of the camera is not.  It showed no respect for the dead at all.  What really infuriated me was when they spoke about one survivor, mentioned where he was now living, and what job he has.  I’m 99.7% convinced that Zodiac is dead, or locked up for something else.  However, if I am wrong, and this kook is still running loose, the last thing a survivor needs is to have his whereabouts broadcast.  If Zodiac is still alive, I’m sure he would collect and archive everything written or spoken about him.  So he would have this video, he’d probably have a whole room full of copies of Graysmith’s books, and make it into a shrine to himself and his cunning.

This was well worth the $6.50.  And I will buy it when the DVD is released.