So much happening.  I’m writing about myself, which I know is boring to readers, but so much going on I must write.  Had the weirdest week.  Really horrid depression for 2 days, couldn’t control my emotions, only trigger was stress.  I think hormones were involved.  I’m peri-menopausal, I think, and sometimes the hormones are like when I was an adolescent.  I had lots of depression then!

Wednesday I decided to embark on a lifestyle change program called in8.  You can read about it on the website for Advanced Wellness.   There’s a blog on their site I plan to start reading.  The program combines education about and practice of healthy nutrition and exercise, as well as great tools to do it-personal training, meditation training.  They also have holistic practitioners on staff-chiropractors, physical therapists, hypnotherapists, etc. to assist with behavior modification, etc.  I decided to to this because, although I’ve had lots of emotional therapy and practice, I’ve never quite learned how to take good care of myself physically.   I describe the therapy as something like “The Biggest Loser” without the competition and Jillian.  The trainer at Advanced Wellness, Marc McKinney, is a cool, informed, gentle person.  It involves 2 small training/exercise classes with him twice a week, 3 at home exercise sessions of interval training for 30 minutes, nutrition counseling, protein and Omega 3 supplements, and just looks like a lot of support.  Seems to bring together everything I need to do to get into better physical shape, strengthen myself, which will help me live my life, and not watch it pass by.  I have cholesterol & sugar issues already, and I need to get them under control before they control me.

So, my last hurrah is taking place as this starts 9/29.  I baked a chocolate cake today.  I’ll now admit I’ve been smoking again for 2 years, after 10 years of not smoking, and I’ll have to cut that out, which I want to do anyhow.  Since I started working at a job with an hour commute, I’m awake for more hours of the day and I smoke while I commute.  This has brought my nicotine addiction to a higher level this time around, because I’m smoking more.  I’m also more stressed, and I need to learn to handle it better.

Last Sunday, instead of going to church, I attended the Richmond Family Peace Festival, which was better than church that particular day!   I became inspired to start crafting with recycled paper from old magazines, books, etc.  I’ve wanted to do recycled papercrafts for awhile, but I actually saw and bought some work by this amazing illustrator and paper artist, CoreyMarie.  I loved her work and it inspired me to go buy some old books & magazines at a thrift shop yesterday and see what speaks to me.  I may do cards with it, I may do something else.  I don’t want to copy Corey Marie, but her work definitely inspired me.  I always say I’ve never had one original idea!  It was funny, I bought a couple of Ladies Home Journals from about 1949 & 1960 and a BHG from early 1940’s, and I’ve been fascinated reading them, especially the ads!  They are all about making home life more convenient with appliances and processed food!!  The 1960 LHJ had a short story by my man, Kurt Vonnegut!

I’m still doing my Close To My Heart workshops, but I’ve often felt bad about the fact that so much paper is used and wasted, as well as the fact that I’m pretty sure the materials are not made in the US.  And there’s so damn much paper wasted here, I feel guilty buying it.  I hope I can create some things in this way.  I do have some fun card making and scrapbooking workshops planned for October.  Holla!

I’ve been reading, as usual.  I think since I started being treated for ADD a few years ago I’m able to read much, much more.  I read a book called A Twisted Faith by Gregg Olsen.  I like Gregg Olsen.  It’s about a church in the Seattle area where a lot of fucked up things happened.  It was slightly comforting, because a lot of fucked up things have been happening at my own church lately, and at I can say at least no one has been murdered.  Yet.  I’m not kidding, though.  I’ve never seen people act the way they are acting at my church.  It’s the most bizarre, inexplicable situation, and I’m just praying for Love, and to keep an open heart.  I’ve never witnessed anger and such an unwillingness to take any responsibility for it, from so many people at one time, especially in church.  I will say, however, I believe it is a microcosm of our society right now as a whole.  This has created a tremendous amount of stress and grief for all involved, including the very angry ones.  I feel for them all, as well as myself.

What else have I read?  I started reading a book called Tulia, which wasn’t badly written, but I just couldn’t finish it.  I guess it was dragging a little.  It’s about an undercover drug operation in Tulia, TX, gone awry, and just reminded me of how racist our country still is, particularly around the judicial process.

I read a book called Most Evil, by this guy, Steve Hodel, who makes a good case that his father, George Hodel, could be the Black Dahlia killer, the Zodiak killer and may have killed in Chicago & Thailand, I think.  It was very interesting.  He was a detective or investigator and started studying the Black Dahlia murder after he found some connection w/ his father, who died within the last 10 years, I think.  Before his father’s death, he had no idea he could be a murderer.  I read this book a long time ago by one of my favorite people, James Ellroy, who wrote City Confidiential. It’s called My Dark Places. It’s  my favorite true crime book ever.  It’s better than In Cold Blood.  His writing is visceral.  It’s about the murder of his mother.  Interestingly, when I read this book, I thought of the Black Dahlia, and I thought there were many similarities between these murders.  Now, I think that, but he probably wrote about them in the book!  Anyhow, Hodel believes his father did murder Ellroy’s mother.  I highly recommend My Dark Places. It’s outstanding.  Oddly, I’ve never ready any of Ellroy’s fiction, although I’m sure it would be entertaining and educational.  I have read some of his essays though.  I shall read some of his fiction!

I started reading The Night Stalker. It’s by Philip Carlo.  For some reason I always resisted reading about The Night Stalker, aka Richard Ramirez.  He gave me the creeps, perhaps somewhere in my subconscious I remember the fear, or perhaps if felt so sensationalized.  I also felt like reading it would be contributing to a psychopath’s ego.  Well, I heard recently the book was well done, so I got it.  It’s quite interesting.   One of the things I found interesting is he has/had temporal lobe epilepsy as a child & young man, and it was severe and untreated.  This is the area of the brain that controls behavior, and can cause obsessive sexual ideation on objects, and things most people wouldn’t find sexually stimulating.  Of course, growing up in an extremely violent environment didn’t help, I’m sure.  Part of that was his cousin coming back from Vietnam with his stories about and pictures of the raping and maiming of women.  He then witnessed this same cousin shoot and kill his wife.  Very weird.  And sad.

Well, that’s a handful!  I’m hoping my poetry muse will return.  I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to notice her appearance, but hopefully I will soon.  Ta!


Did I tell you about reading The Man with the Candy by Jack Olsen?  It is about a serial killer in Houston, TX, in the 70’s.  He was an old school investigative reporter.  He wrote for many good magazines and also wrote 32 books.  I’ve read 5 of his nonfiction books.  All but 1 of them is about crime.  Have I mentioned I like true crime?  I’m picky, though.  I don’t want to read true crime that isn’t well written.  Oh I think I have written about some of my favorites-James Ellroy, Lorenzo Carcaterra, and more! I don’t  know if I mentioned Jack Olsen.  His books are well-researched and objective.  He passed on in 2002.  He was 77.  He is very underappreciated, I believe.  Before Into Thin Air, there was Olsen’s 1962 account of a mountain climbing tragedy,  The Climb Up To Hell.

Anywho, I highly recommend Mr. Olsen.  A lot of his books are available used on Amazon & Better World Books.