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God tells me to copy and paste, so you can't stop me. -- Kate

"You know, I could run for governor, but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business ..." -- G.W. Bush

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. -- Galileo Galilei

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Guys, if she says she doesn’t feel like making dinner then you should try cooking it yourself or pick up the phone and order a pizza.
Her refusal to cook dinner led to fatal quarrel, police say


Wednesday, September 28, 2005
By Cindi Lash, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

David Joseph Krzyzanowski wanted dinner.

His wife told authorities that she didn't feel like cooking, and she told him so.

By her account, Beth Theresia Krzyzanowski's refusal provoked an argument Sunday that led her to fatally shoot her spouse and leave his body lying in their driveway overnight, then shove it into a cistern behind their rural mobile home, Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi said.

. . .

"She indicates that it was all over his demand that she prepare dinner," Andreassi said.

. . .

She gave troopers a statement in which she admitted shooting her husband at about 9 p.m. outside their home, he said.

"She indicates that she and her husband were involved in a dispute," Andreassi said.

During the quarrel, Beth Krzyzanowski said she grabbed a .357-caliber handgun and fired it once, striking her husband in the chest, Andreassi said. Her husband fell dead in the driveway, and she told investigators that she left him there and went back into the trailer to sleep for the night, the district attorney said.

The next morning, Beth Krzyzanowski got up and, at some point in the late morning or early afternoon, dragged her husband's body behind the mobile home and rolled it into a cistern, according to her statement. She then telephoned a friend around 1 p.m. and told him what she'd done, Andreassi said.

A hearing is scheduled Oct. 4.

Monday, September 26, 2005

My father died a little over a month ago and my mother a little over a decade ago. I have never really written anything about either life or death. I don’t think I now how.

After Life
Philippe Ariès, in "The Hour of Our Death," points out that the essential characteristic of death as it appears in the "Chanson de Roland" is that the death, even if sudden or accidental, "gives advance warning of its arrival." Gawain is asked: "Ah, good my lord, think you then so soon to die?" Gawain answers: "I tell you that I shall not live two days." Ariès notes: "Neither his doctor nor his friends nor the priests (the latter are absent and forgotten) know as much about it as he. Only the dying man can tell how much time he has left."

You sit down to dinner.

"You can use it if you want to," John had said when I gave him the note he had dictated a week or two before.

And then - gone.

4
Grief, when it comes, is nothing we expect it to be. It was not what I felt when my parents died: my father died a few days short of his 85th birthday and my mother a month short of her 91st, both after some years of increasing debility. What I felt in each instance was sadness, loneliness (the loneliness of the abandoned child of whatever age), regret for time gone by, for things unsaid, for my inability to share or even in any real way to acknowledge, at the end, the pain and helplessness and physical humiliation they each endured. I understood the inevitability of each of their deaths. I had been expecting (fearing, dreading, anticipating) those deaths all my life. They remained, when they did occur, distanced, at a remove from the ongoing dailiness of my life. After my mother died I received a letter from a friend in Chicago, a former Maryknoll priest, who precisely intuited what I felt. The death of a parent, he wrote, "despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us and that may cut free memories and feelings that we had thought gone to ground long ago. We might, in that indeterminate period they call mourning, be in a submarine, silent on the ocean's bed, aware of the depth charges, now near and now far, buffeting us with recollections."

My father was dead, my mother was dead, I would need for a while to watch for mines, but I would still get up in the morning and send out the laundry.

I would still plan a menu for Easter lunch.

I would still remember to renew my passport.

Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. Virtually everyone who has ever experienced grief mentions this phenomenon of "waves." Erich Lindemann, who was chief of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in the 1940's and interviewed many family members of those killed in the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire, defined the phenomenon with absolute specificity in a famous 1944 study: "sensations of somatic distress occurring in waves lasting from 20 minutes to an hour at a time, a feeling of tightness in the throat, choking with shortness of breath, need for sighing and an empty feeling in the abdomen, lack of muscular power and an intense subjective distress described as tension or mental pain."

Tightness in the throat.

Choking, need for sighing.


Yes, a need to sigh, a tightness in the throat, weakness. Waves of it. Sometimes you feel like nothing has happened then the wave hits, knocks into you. Leaves you a bit disoriented. You sigh, you swallow hard then you eventually catch your breath, muscles gain strength and you move on until the next wave.

I still haven’t written anything about my parents deaths, have I?



Joan Didion: This article is adapted from "The Year of Magical Thinking," to be published by Alfred A. Knopf next month.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Here's an even better link explaining the various parts and ages of the brain.
Your "3-Brains-in-One" Brain

Friday, September 09, 2005

I've heard the term "lizard brain" used but never knew exactly what it meant. I could make a general guess but was never 100% sure. Now Suzanne on Comcast’s CN8 channel is talking about the ‘lizard brain’ so I figure I should check it out. Can’t have Suzanne know more than me.
Addiction comes from the lower brain, from the viscera, the gut. We call this part of the brain the "limbic system" or lizard brain ." "Limbic system" means the part of our brain where our basic, primitive urges and feelings reside. This is the part of the brain that evolved long before humans developed the capacity for rational thought. That’s why we call it "reptile brain."
By the way, Suzanne is the wife of Ralph Roberts, the Chairman of the Board of Comcast who is on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. Could there be a little lizard brain at work here? “Ralph honey, I want my own show. When can I have my own show? Give me my own show.”

Anyways, I was going somewhere with this but can't remember where that was. While checking out the lizard brain stuff I found this article, The Twelve Biggest Secrets About AA and it threw me completely off of what I had been thinking about.

Also not where I was going originally, the more I read about the brain the more I think the intelligent design people are so far off track and completely goofy. The brain is basically newer parts built on top of older parts. If the design of the brain was truly intelligent and thought out ahead of time wouldn't the various parts work more harmoniously. If the various parts of the brain worked together then there shouldn't be addictions. The rational part of your brain that knows how bad alcohol or drugs can be should not have to compete with the irrational part that gets pleasure from alcohol or drugs. The angel on one shoulder telling you to be good and the devil on the other telling you to be bad wouldn't be there.

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