Still More Fall Foliage Dinos; Monday Thoughts


Here’s an inquisitive, egg-eating fellow, out for a morning fall stroll. Perhaps he will find the perfect pheasant’s nest? And breakfast?


A friendly Styrachiosaurus, a horny brute, but one with a pleasant grin. I built an AMC “Snap Tite” plastic model of this guy back when I was Levi’s age. With moveable head, legs, and tail. I wish I still had it!

Some Monday, December 16 thoughts:

I am working very, VERY hard to reattain my prior stamina and skills.

I am very, VERY confident I will return to my office on January 2, 2014, as planned, and that I will also restart at least a portion of my former writing schedule, as well.

The first day with a new therapy group is, I think, always the hardest. You are coming in to the middle of their movies, and they are coming in to the middle of yours. Plenty of storytelling gets lost or foreshortened.

Some say it is easy to get bored with one’s own story. I agree (having told it so many times), but I think it is a bit more difficult to become bored with others’ stories (thankfully).

It does get tiresome to tell one’s story over and over again to a succession of listeners. I am very tempted to simply write the entire saga down on paper, and then hand it to the next interviewer and say, “Please — just read my dumb ramblings, okay?”

Trying to squeeze a story of fifteen years’ of gathering stresses in 45 minutes is taxing. Trying to squeeze the same story into 10 minutes is EXHAUSTING.

Men don’t like to cry in public. They don’t like to cry in front of women. They don’t like to cry in front of men. Not even in front of dogs.

Watching HBO documentaries on substance abuse is a harrowing, horrifying experience. But one of the biggest surprises is how POLITE all but the most addled victims are to the medical staff who surround them. Is this just an American thing? Even a man who had his arm half-sawed off politely described his situation and his state of consciousness to his attending doctor. Very, very odd to watch.

Waiting can drive one crazy. Especially when one is susceptible to panic attacks. It is like being a little boy who desperately needs to use the bathroom and jumps up and down on one foot, holding his privates.

Today, I was the MASTER of I-95 South! Hooray, ME!

Stage fright, ironically enough, can be even worse when one is on anti-anxiety medications (because they slow one’s reaction times).

I am meeting a surprising number of retired police officers and Marines. The rescuers, it seems, often require rescuing at the end of very long, stressful years.

It is surprisingly common to discover young women of exceptional attractiveness in these discussion groups.

On the other hand, a great many mental health professionals I have spoken with have exhibited signs of emotional stress or impairment.

When one plays the first-time-in-the-group game of “Who’s an asshole? Who’s a sweetie?” I have found that the percentages aren’t so good. About fifty percent of my guesses end up as either false positives or false negatives. Sometimes people “cheat” and change overnight from an asshole to a sweetie, making the game even more unpredictable.

The hardest questions one is asked don’t tend to come from the professionals. They come from fellow patients, who innocently, unexpectedly ask you a question about the one thing which is hurting you the worst.


  1. Yes. All of this. Yes. Thank you for sharing, Andy.

  2. Maury Feinsilber says:

    It’s only a week ago today since we first saw each other, ex post nervious breakdowno, and it’s so heartening to read of your progress! Yay you, indeed, Andy!! (It was interesting, telling and most of all affirming to read that you’ve encountered a lot of police officers and Marines in light of all we’d discussed about saving people). May your excellent progress continue at just the right speed and trajectory!

    • Andrew says:

      God bless you for you always kind and uplifting messages, Maury. I assume you heard from Larry today about my having a very positive day. Unfortunately, as I emailed you a few minutes ago, things were bad when I arrived home (involving police cars and a trip for my wife and son to the hospital so his fit could be attended to by doctors). Please know that my very positive day, which you and Larry and Paul all contributed to, has given me enough of a “psychic reserve” to take care of my other two boys and attend to their needs without suffering a panic attack (although of course I am horribly worried for Levi and Dara). However, I am not paralyzed with anxiety, as I might have been even just a couple of days ago. This new day therapy regimen has blessed me just at the right time. Take very good care of yourself, my excellent and loyal friend!

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