Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Email to Lumpy Becomes Today's Post

Early on, you asked how I kept from "becoming [my] disease." By now, you know that I did not have such success, and that the Exceptional People who do manage to project a persona of oblivion to true suffering are large suppurating pustules in need of drainage. They are Uncle Festers.

I divert.  Early on that meant a Frenchified tendency toward organized divertissements, especially if they shed light on how to become an Exceptional Person.  Later, and now, I devolved and now have a laser focus on diversion as entertainment, minutiae, and above all else, the tracing of how I got from Point A to Point Z during the course of a difficult stretch of time. 

I divert, via this process of provenance, during whatever I consider my "day time." 

During the remaining night time, I engage in diversion via memory exercises and listening intently to music.  I try to remember the details of every house, apartment, and room that I have lived in. Even reconstructing the formal nature of the previous three days' worth of waking provenance and the greater fun of Activities of Daily Living, in precise order and with as much sensory recall as may be mustered. Which clothes went in the washer? How many fake sugar packets sweetened my bedtime yogurt? Did Fred wake with Albert Einstein hair or was he more of a Helmet Head? Marmy frequently stumps the process, as I lose patience with her, and emotional fuck-ups upset the beautiful precision of recollection.

That's a good time, in the night, to switch to music. In perfect bookends to the day, Marmy fucks that up, too, as removing the earbuds from my ears and rerouting my attention to soothing her in the dark, listening to her odd "ack-ack" complaints until she purrs and settles her angular little body into whatever part of me hurts the worse -- as doing these things make immersion into song impossible. 

Sweet girl that she is, however, she knows there follows the only sleep I will get.

Let me show you the provenance adventure undertaken in the past hour, when I realized that more pain medication would not do the trick and that I was not physically able to conjure up another fish stew, made magic by the chaste use of tarragon and smoky hot paprika, as well as by the creation of eggplant croutons, nuggets of crunchy splendor.

I needed a new batch of books to read and am set on the idea of finally learning something about 20th century English and American novels.  The rich gift of 20th century American poetry still blesses me.

Casting about for guidance in choosing what great modern literature to read, and sensing that it's not a subject about which you can spare a rat's ass worth of interest right now, I hit upon the James Tail Black Memorial Prize.  Begun in 1919, it's a perfect source. The shortlisting is done by English graduate students at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and the final selection is made by "the" Professor of English Literature. No muss, no fuss, and not much money.

They do fiction and memoirs/biographies, but added a drama category out of the blue in 2012.

My first choice will be Padgett Powell's You & Me, simply because I was all set to purchase his first splash, Edisto.  

Everything in my writing, conversation, feeling, and thinking now derives from an obsession with provenance, and this obsession keeps me mostly sane. "How did I/you/the country/humanity get here from the last time I noticed myself/you/the country/humanity back over there?"  My provenance compulsion is limited in scope because it is easy enough to get lost in short leaps whereas the grand sweep of a linked history never comes successfully to fruition. The diseased body has too many occasions to insert itself into the narrative.

Tonight, I happened upon a NYTimes' article on Padgett Powell after stumbling over a strangely literate sports blog while reading around -- like a slut, really -- about something that might be called "extreme running," a lifestyle structured around events such as a "100-mile ultra marathon in the Wasatch mountains in Utah." In the middle of a well written paragraph about training, there was this mention of Powell, and a hyperlink to the Times review.

It seemed destined that I should take an oblique reference to a fairly famous USAmerican Southern writer as a serious recommendation, given the serious erudition of this blogger.  He does not, himself, live the life of running barefoot in the desert through long hot and cold nights.  No, he trains to serve his best friend, Louis, as an official "pacer" in the aforementioned 100-mile ultra marathon. Competitors are not allowed a pacer until mile 39, and are a much sought after team element, as it is hard to run in the dark alone, or to do the vertical challenges which apparently are mentally crushing there at the end of the race.

I now have many questions about pacers and ultrarunners. These questions will lead to other things, and tracking the provenance of whatever tomorrow's end goal after my first session of diversion will be rich fodder and helpful in transforming pain and self-pity into something else.  For instance, there is a haughtiness in the currently abstract and abrupt assertion that pacers, or even support teams, are not needed for 50k events. These people are clearly sneering at me, daring me to ask "but, why?" 

So in searching for finger holds and toe grips on the frustratingly vertical wall of this sport, I discovered a Southern writer to read, one Padgett Powell. In doing the always energizing down and dirty rapid strip down of the author, meaning a visit to Wikipedia, there it was, a mention of  the James Tail Black Memorial Prize, and Scotland.

And my eyes have given out, and my stomach hurts, and Marmy has tuned in to the night time.  My MP3 player is fully charged and lowfat plain yogurt yodels mine name from the fridge.  Fred is hunkered down in front of his desktop, and, besides, we said "good night, sleep well" hours ago.

Thus ends this bit of performance writing, undertaken by unearthing the provenance of one of your disarming, deflecting remarks, playing to my cloying ego: "I've always wondered how you kept from becoming your disease." 

I take that back.  It was a moment of sincerity on your part, which is why I've been relentlessly honest and boring in the performance of my answer.

I love you, as a good mother would tell her child, "to the moon and back." I am no one's mother, certainly not yours, but the phrase is apt.

Will let you know how it goes with You and Me or Edisto.  I am still able to read about an hour a day for pure pleasure, so long as there is yogurt.

Your sister

© 2013 L. Ryan

Friday, November 7, 2014

"If I Should Fall Behind," Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - If I Should Fall Behind 
at Civic Center in Hartford, CT on May 8/2000.

We said we'd walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we're walking a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me

We swore we'd travel darlin' side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride
But each lover's steps fall so differently
But I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let's make our steps clear that the other may see
And I'll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead
There 'neath the oak's bough soon we will be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me
Darlin' I'll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

© 2013 L. Ryan

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

*Possible* Lead in the Lindsey Baum Case

Lindsey Baum, 2009

An Aberdeen, Washington, man who worked for a non-profit that assisted children, “The Gregorian Group," has been arrested "on suspicion of multiple child rapes and molestations."

Gregory Brian Johnson will also be investigated for any ties to the disappearance of Lindsey Baum, last seen in nearby McCleary in June 2009.  She would now be sixteen. Gregory Johnson lived in McCleary at the time Lindsey went missing.

The following information comes from

MONTESANO, Wash. — Gregory Brian Johnson, 48, who heads an Aberdeen nonprofit organization that works with children, has been arrested on suspicion of multiple child rapes and molestations.
On Tuesday, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office told KIRO 7 it will investigate whether Johnson could have had anything to do with the 2009 disappearance of Lindsey Baum, who lived in nearby McCleary.
A department spokesman said that’s standard practice whenever someone in Grays Harbor County is suspected of abusing young girls.
Johnson was arrested on Halloween after a now-23-year-old woman told Aberdeen police that Johnson had repeatedly raped and molested her from the time she was 9 years old.  Sgt. Art Laur said the woman agreed to wear a recording device and got Johnson to admit “to some of the statements she told us about what happened to her.”
The woman's 11-year-old half-brother also told police Johnson molested him from the time he was 4.
While the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office investigates a possible connection to the Baum case, Aberdeen police are investigating whether Johnson may have abused any of the children he came in contact with through his nonprofit organization.  “The Gregorian Group” operated out of a downtown Aberdeen office building and offered young people a place to hang out, and coordinated hiking and camping outings, according to its Facebook page.  That office is now closed.
Johnson remains behind bars at the Grays Harbor County Jail in Montesano.

Although I've not posted about Lindsey lately, I check every week for reliable news on her case, and there has been nothing but the various odd psychic insights and the heartrending prayers for her not to be forgotten.  This is the first solid bit of information in years, and even this is a stretch.  Yet, the feeling has always been that the perpetrator would turn out to be a "local," and a serial violator.

Way back in July 2009, the first post on this blog about missing child Lindsey gave these details, and there has been precious little to add in the five years since:

Around 9:15 pm on June 26, Lindsey J. Baum, an 11-year old from the tiny town of McCleary, Washington, disappeared while walking from a friend's house to her home, only four short blocks away.
She just had an argument with her brother, but most everyone notes that she wasn't storming off mad. She didn't have the accoutrements you'd think of when thinking of a runaway -- no money, no cell phone, no change of clothes.
Some friends set out with her, so she was accompanied for a while before they peeled off to go to their own homes for dinner, or homework, a bath or shower, whatever.
Two of those four blocks are reported to be somewhat industrial -- though we are talking *rural* small town. One block away is access to a major highway.
As any child would be, Lindsey was troubled by her parents' recent divorce. Her father lives in Tennessee... [He served a tour in Iraq shortly after her abduction, and I'm not sure where he lives now.  Lindsey's mother and brother have relocated but remain near McCleary.]

Lindsey, as depicted through "age progression" technology

To read all posts concerning Lindsey Baum published on this blog, click HERE.

© 2013 L. Ryan

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Blatantly stolen from the Facebook page for the 

Just a few of the reasons people shot each other last month:

I ordered some food at a restaurant. When the cashier told me the price, I got upset. So I shot her repeatedly.

My boyfriend brought a shotgun home and told me I needed to learn how to use it. So I shot him.

After Dad died, I wanted his tractor. My brother wanted it too, so I shot him in the head.

I signed a contract to restore this guy's old truck, but when I told him it was going to cost more than I had estimated, he said he wouldn't pay. So I shot him.

I was playing "gun tag" with a three-year-old child. He was pointing his toy gun at me, so I pointed my real, loaded handgun at him. I didn't really intend to shoot him, but I was drunk and I got carried away with the game.

The gun I bought for protection didn't protect my home from being burglarized. When I saw that I had been robbed, I had a temper tantrum in my front yard. My 13-year-old neighbor saw me and started laughing, so I pulled my gun and shot him nine times.

I was racing radio-controlled cars with another man. We got into an argument about who won the race, so I shot at him.

I like to play with my loaded gun while I watch The Walking Dead. I got a little fidgety while I was engrossed in the show and unintentionally shot my little brother to death.

I was asleep and my cousin started jumping on my bed to wake me up, so I shot him to death.

My friend jokingly slapped me in the face, so I jokingly shot her in the head with a gun I thought was unloaded. (It wasn't.)

At a gathering after a funeral, I asked a woman for her phone number. She said no (she was with her fiancé), so I shot her and five of her family members.

Blatantly stolen from the Facebook page for the 

© 2013 L. Ryan

Family Summer Camp for Pediatric Pain Patients

RSDSA with Mission 

Dear Retired Educator:  

Here At Last: Family Summer Camp for Pediatric Pain Patients -- Free of Charge!!!
We Finally Did It!!!

The Coalition Against Pediatric Pain (TCAPP), RSDSA, and the US Pain Foundation have partnered with The Center for Courageous Kids in Kentucky and have pooled all of our resources to create a camp for kids in pain. This will be a family camp that will take place at The Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky from July 14 - 17 and is free of charge. It will be a time for families and kids that deal with daily pain to kick up their heels and have fun in a safe, accepting environment!

To learn more about the camp location and what they have to offer, please visit The Center for Courageous Kids website at:

To apply for the pediatric pain family camp, please follow the following steps:

Step One: Complete the Application On-Line By Clicking Here:

Step Two: Print Out the Application, Sign It, Have your Physician Sign It and mail it in to The Center for Courageous Kids.

Other Option: To print out the application and fill it out by hand, click here:

All applications will be processed by The Center for Courageous Kids and campers/families will be accepted based on time of application, lodging requirements, and room availability.

TCAPP, RSDSA, and The US Pain Foundation realize that finances are tight for most families dealing with pediatric pain and transportation to the camp may be difficult. We are all working together to fundraise and provide traveling stipends for those who need them. More will come regarding this in the future. In the meantime, we hope you will use the advance notice to plan accordingly, create personal fundraisers for travel to camp (once again the camp is free), and/or maybe include some travel gift cards on your upcoming holiday wish list.

We anticipate that this will be a great experience and an exciting time for everyone!! Let's have some fun!!! Hope to see you all there!!!

A huge thank you to The Center for Courageous Kids, RSDSA and the US Pain Foundation for helping make TCAPP's dream come true and be able to offer a camp for kids in chronic pain.

RSDSA, TCAPP, & The US Pain Foundation

Be sure to visit the RSDSA website for the latest CRPS/RSD information including new treatment options, valuable resources, upcoming, events, and Support Group in your area.
Click Here to Visit Now!

Contact Information
Jim Broatch
877-662-7737 or 877.662.7737

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This e-Alert was made possible by the contribution of the RSDSA Community.
RSDSA Research makes a difference so can you.

© 2013 L. Ryan