Mental Health Day

People have been behaving badly on the internet.  What a surprise.

I’m reminded of a story I read once, true or not, who knows, which was to the effect that, when switchboards first became a Thing, the newly-organized phone company had initially hired boys as operators, because — cheap labor.  Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that something about having all that access acted on boys like catnip on cats; they began pranking callers, and just in general behaving badly.  Couldn’t seem to help themselves, really, poor things.  So the phone companies fired the boy operators and hired women, because — cheap labor.  And that worked out much better for all concerned.

Personally, I think there’s a genetic disposition, a kind of allergy to electrons, so that when people with this allergy are exposed to this allergen, they behave as badly as possible.  Remove the electrons, and they revert to being perfectly innocuous and civilized members of society.


In other news, I’ve taken up meditation, as part of my project to avoid a Major Depressive Incident, such as I experienced last year.  As we all know, depression makes us stupid, and I’m still finding errors that I made during the last (really bad, by my standards; maybe one of the Biggest since records started to be kept, some 40 years ago) — some serious, but none, thank ghod, fatal, though one was particularly scary.  So, anyway, despite a lifetime of crash-burn-rise-up-eventually-slighty-sooty, I’m now trying to alter the pattern, and to be proactive.  Which means, yes, meditation, and also ruthlessly slashing toxic — and even perennially irritating — people out of my life.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, expect to see me less.  I’ll try to pick back up posting more regularly here (this blog is mirrored at Eagles Over the Kennebec).  I love you all, but — survival is important to the appearance of more stories.

So, that.

Yesterday, Steve and I took a mental health day.  We went down to Old Orchard Beach, where it was foggy and windy(!) and too chilly to sit on the beach and read, which had been my Plan A.  We did a short beach walk, then went down to Wells, where it was also foggy and windy(!), and stood around on the public landing, watching the kites, and Steve took pictures with his new camera.

After, we crossed over to Sanford, and stopped for lunch at the Cockpit Cafe at the airport.  And there we saw George W. Bush arrive, and board the (Embraer Legacy twin-jet) plane that had been waiting for him.

On the way home from Sanford, we made one more ocean stop — at Pine Point — and then came home, where I continued the electron-free theme (not totally true, since I’m reading an ebook), until it was time for the evening meal, a glass of wine and a chapter read outloud from The Cat Who Saw Red (yeah, it’s a re-read; we decided to do the Cat Who’s in order to follow Qwilleran’s arc).

This morning, I baked peasant olive bread while Steve went to cardio-gym, and also figured out the penultimate scene in the cheater story.

I may not have reported here that I bought myself a chair side table (a so-called C-table) for the reading corner.

Here are some pictures:

This first was taken when the table came home. At the time the photo was snapped, it had been in the house for less than five minutes:

This is what the table looks like, unadorned:

And here is Sprite, reasserting her claim:

7 thoughts on “Mental Health Day”

  1. Please take good care of yourselves, good health is really important to enjoying all of life…says he whose wife has MS quite badly.
    When we lived in Ottawa our favorite vacation destination was the White Mtns, the beaches of Kennebec and of course LL Bean. We still have cutting boards that say “Property of Maine State Corrections” which we picked up 20 odd years ago at a prison store on the way to Rockport.
    Thanks again for the great Liaden universe. Norbert

  2. Since you’re backing off of social media, but I fell for pictures of your olive bread, I’m asking here what I asked in a comment there: do you include onions (as onion salt, cooked onions, or raw onions) in your olive bread? And what kind of olives do you use?

    I’ve made olive bread only once, and it was…not a complete success.

    You have things to do, so I don’t expect a quick response (or any, if it’s one of those weeks.) Wishing you well.

  3. I note that you’ve embarked on a re-read of The Cat Who series. I miss Ms. Braun, though toward the end of the arc I began to wonder if the publisher was using a ghost (I definitely remember the days when Alexander Blade was a house name, and reading a Ted Sturgeon masterpiece under the Blade byline).

    I wonder, though, if you’ve sampled the Joe Grey books, of which there are as many now as there are chronicles of Liad and environment? If not, please accept the recommendation of another cat staff member and dip in. They begin with “Cat on the Edge” and move on from there… The good news is that Ms. Murphy is still with us and still working!

  4. DH & I spent a week in Bar Harbor last month celebrating our 20th anniversary. Most days we did a lot of walking on the carriage trails in Acadia National Park, but one day was rainy so we drove over to Schoodic Point to see what there was to see. The main office is in what probably was a summer home for wealthy people back in the day and now serves a small museum. Then we drove down to the actual point. There’s no beach there; it’s all granite rocks with impressive breaking waves. We didn’t make to Old Orchard Beach though, but maybe someday I will.

    Hope the meditation helps keep you on an even keel this year.

  5. I included onions — frozen onions which I let sit out until they were wilted, poor things, but frozen was all I had. The recipe wants kalamata olives, but I didn’t have kalamata olives, all I had was plain old green olives stuffed with pimento, so I rinsed off the excess brine, and chopped those for the recipe, and halved the salt called for, also added some dried rosemary and oregano.

    The most forgiving bread recipe in the world can be found here: (the basic recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I use 2 cups of bread flour and 2 cups of white whole wheat (or, as today, because I was running out of bread flour — ONE cup of bread flower and 3 of white whole wheat).

    Variations on the basic recipe (including olive bread) are here:

  6. Mental health is essential! This year I am finding it very important to avoid hours of cable news which consumed much of the fall and winter. Not that I don’t care, but my mood was suffering to a point of concern. I can’t afford to take any more meds, particularly if they gut my insurance.

  7. Meditation is a great tool for health. That quiet “non-time” is wonderful for letting your brain and emotions settle down. That, plus TaiChi will do great things for you.

    As far as rereading “The Cat Who Saw Red”, I read it years ago and still wish I’d kept my copy. The reasons for the red glaze still make for a great weird question to use against my friends.

    Enjoy yourself!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.