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10:34 am - Monday, Jun. 09, 2003
A Little \"Therapeutic Licking\"

A Little "Therapeutic Licking"

Read this article a short time ago...

(If you're too busy to follow the link--Basically, they did a study with baby rats, and the ones who were licked more frequently--whether by their biological mothers, "adopted" mothers, or by human experimenters with paintbrushes--grew up to be less-stressed adults.)

So, it turns out my big problem might be that I was't licked enough as a child. But fortunately, the article suggests that the effects of being "insufficiently licked" as a child are not irreversible, so if I could just find someone to give me some "therapeutic licking" now, things might still turn out all right.

Any volunteers?


Yesterday morning, I woke up, turned on the tv, and the very first thing I saw was something about the advantages of being married (I think it was some religious thing about the joys of marriage vs. the evils of cohabitation).

The biggest advantage I could see--and this is a statistic I've heard before--is that a man's chances of living past age 65 increase dramatically if he's married.

So as a middle-aged single guy with no prospects in that department, I find myself looking at this statistic, and trying to see "the bright side"; I may be alone and unhappy much of the time, but at least my suffering is going to be relatively brief.

Only 23 more years to go...


I don't know exactly what happened yesterday--All I did was go to work, and that was pretty uneventful--but the bottom had seriously dropped-out for me by the evening.

On the ride home, I found myself out-and-out assaulted by bad thoughts. And I don't mean "I'm feeling a little down"-type thoughts; These were the "big guns"...

You're working a low-paid, meaningless job, one paycheck from the gutter (Or from having to go to Mark and Jane, or Cary and Kay, with your hand out like a bum). You haven't done any acting worth doing since coming out here there's nothing on the horizon, and you're not going to make it, because you're basically a quitter and a loser. You have nothing to show for 42 years on the planet. You have no one and you're never going to have anyone (You blew the few chances life presented you), and you're going to die (relatively) young, poor, and alone. You might as well never have lived at all.

In fact, why are you even alive now?

Aside from all that, I was feeling pretty chipper.

Just another day in Jimlandia...

Sounds pretty dire, doesn't it? Or maybe it doesn't, I don't know; Maybe I always come off as being "down in the mouth" about something.

The only defense I have against a night like last night, and it's actually a pretty good one, is to say that, for whatever reason, I'm just having "a bad night"--Okay, a seriously bad night--the "demons" have come out to play, and that's all it is.

I wrestle with those feelings quite a bit--a lot more than I talk about in here--but those aren't the only feelings I have.

As long as the odds seem to be, I still believe there could be someone out there waiting for someone just like me.

I still believe, in spite of all doubts and fears to the contrary, that I can figure out how to make my life work better.

I still believe that some of my best times could be in front of me.

I struggle with feeling like a loser, but still hold inside the belief that I don't have to be.

I still believe that my dreams can come true. The clock is ticking louder than ever before, tis true, but there's still time.

Something that keeps me from slipping too far away when I feel really bad is reminding myself, "You know, nothing's any different than it was yesterday, when you didn't feel like killing yourself. It's just "bad chemicals", my friend. So don't take this unhappiness too seriously. You're tired, you don't feel good, you're eating too much crap, you've gotten stuck on a bad thought or two, whatever, but it's really not that big a deal".

Or as Jane likes to say, "Same demons, better management..."


I'm listening to a new CD I bought with my book credit this month, a classical piano compilation (As I write this, I'm listening to Piano Concerto in A Minor, by Grieg).

I don't own much classical music, and what little I have is mostly on cassette. I've been feeling a desire to "expand my horizons", so when Audra put out a sale display of RCA's "Greatest Hits"--a series of budget jazz and classical cds--I thought this would be the perfect "sampler" for a philistine like myself, and bought the cd I'm currently listening to, along with Rachmaninoff and Duke Ellington.

I'm going to get some "culture" if it kills me...!


Have been thinking lately, not for the first time, about how, while I'm in pretty much constant discomfort of one kind or another, I'm rarely in out-and-out, "Somebody shoot me now" pain.

I don't know why I'm thinking about that so much lately, but there it is.


I've deleted her journal from my favorites.

It just struck me--I might have found her interesting at one point in time, but I really don't anymore. And I've got enough boring shit going on in my life.


I've been thinking again about starting up another journal in Diaryland. An anonymous one, for all the dirty, disgusting, squalid little thoughts that are too embarrassing to put in here.

But then it struck me as kind of a half-assed and rather stupid idea--Why do I want a confessional? I'm not even Catholic--So I'm not going to do it; I'll either write whatever I'm going to write in here, and the more squeamish can just avert their eyes, or else I'll go back to doing this the way I started, with quill pen and inkwell, sans devoted readership.


Had my "Reading by 9" thing this morning (Valerie and Harons were gone, so it was just me and Nelson, Devon, and Anne).

This was the first time in a month that it's actually been fun.

At the start, we were doing it in a room adjoining their classroom, which was good. But then that room became unavailable, so for two weeks, I was just off to one side of the classroom with "my" kids, while the rest of the class went on with what they were doing.

And it sucked; I felt stifled, my kids were distracted by the rest of the class, and the rest of the class was distracted by me (I was surprised the teacher didn't suggest another arrangement after the first week of this, but when she didn't, I said something at the end of the second unsatisfying session).

So last week, we went outside, but if anything, that was even worse, in terms of distractions.

I had their attention only fitfully, and it was not much fun.

But today there was a space available, and sure enough, without all the distractions that nature and other children provided, it was back to being pretty fun. At least I didn't feel as frustrated as I had over the previous three weeks.

Actually, a couple things happened today that I took as compliments...

After I read one of the books--I think it was the second one, Chip Wants A Dog--Devon asked if he could have the book afterwards (It made me wish I was back at the old bookstore, where I might have been able to work that sort of thing out). Anyway, that made me feel good, since I don't think he would have wanted the book if I hadn't "put it over" very well (Though I may be flattering myself; The book is by William Wegman, the famous dog photographer, so he might have just gotten a kick out of the illustrations).

Then at another point, Nelson scooted his chair over by mine as I was reading, and started first touching my arm, then resting the back of his hand against mine (I didn't know if that was "okay" or not, but let it go till I had I had to move my hand to turn a page).

It was nice, because it's sometimes been hard to get a read on whether they're actually getting much out of this or not.

Well, if nothing else, I know they like the stickers (Today I found some dinosaur stickers I didn't know I had, which seemed to go over well).


Well, I could go on and on (I haven't touched on WMD, Six Feet Under, or a host of other topics), but I'm heading back to bed.



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