Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Book is Published!

A few days after I approved the final text, my publishing consultant from Xlibris called to let me know that my book was live on And there it was! The paperback edition of Tales of a Seeker: A Spiritual Anthology, by Dana Vinicoff, is now available for your purchase at the low, low price of $15.99!

The listings for the book are not complete; only the paperback edition is available now. A link for the Kindle edition should appear in due course, along with a description of the contents of the book. Complete listings in various online purveyors could take as long as two months, but I'm ecstatic already.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Stitches are Out!

Of my kitty's heel, and the vet said I did an excellent job of nursing her. (Imagine me patting myself on the back.)

On the other hand, there was a tiny spot where the skin was not altogether closed, so I need to keep her indoors and in the cone for a few more days.

You can't win them all.

Post-Election Music

I listened to music on the car radio this morning after I had heard enough news about the election: Clinton's concession speech, Obama's reminder that all Americans are on the same team, and how, as outgoing President Bush did his best to pass the baton for a successful transfer of power to Obama's team, so will his White House do its best for the team of the incoming president elect, and, hopefully, through them, for this 240-year-old republic. I hope that this ship of state is so vast that it will not be sunk by a single election.

Anyway, music has charms to soothe the troubled. As yesterday's election stress grew to a peak, I saw an animated movie and tapped my feet along with the bouncy music. That was soothing and comforting, and kept me in a hopeful frame of mind, despite the existential terror I felt at the prospect of a Trump administration, until the election results could no longer be denied.

And this morning, when the music followed Obama's words of peace and hope, I felt a knot begin to loosen in my chest. I promised myself to listen to a Brahms symphony or two when I get home. I hoped the music would further loosen the knot and remind me that art lives on, and that defeat and death are not the end of all that is good.

I hoped the music would help me open my eyes to every possible sign of hope in the coming days. That it would remind me that half of my fellow Americans are not evil sheep who yearn for a home-grown Third Reich. That I could hope that not everyone who voted for Trump is as profoundly bigoted, misogynistic, anti-semitic, homophobic, and devoid of integrity, honesty, or character as he clearly is. Not to mention vengeful. If he believes in anything other than his own excellence, it's in taking revenge on anyone who slights him. And I really don't want to live in a country where retribution is the chief concern of government.

But getting back to music, it's mathematical and emotional, and simple and true. It doesn't lie; it simply is what it is. And its essence is to speak to each listener about what she is open to hearing. And to nudge us into opening and hearing a little more as it goes on, and with each repetition.

The sound waves help organize our brainwaves and heartbeats, and all the rhythms in our bodies. And our cells are happy to be yoked in harmony to each other; they rush to their duties with renewed strength, vigor, and eagerness to share in a greater whole.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Stress

A medical practitioner of mine told me a few weeks ago that all her patients were complaining of election stress.

And today I heard a piece on NPR about it. One producer got saliva samples from people who were listening to one of the presidential debates, and found significantly elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Interestingly, the levels were higher in Republicans than Democrats.

I think the difference is because the Republican candidate stirs up fear, anger, and hatred, which are more stressful than positive emotions of hope and determination.

At any rate, I've lost some weight because the stress has hurt my appetite and digestion. The weight loss is a good thing; the indigestion is not.

I can't wait until this endless election is over and we start putting our country back together.

Furry Progress

So, Misty soon learned how to chew on her stitches despite the Elizabethan collar, so I had to go back to the vet and get her a hard plastic cone of shame. She's been pretty mellow about it; I think the fact that it's transparent makes it less threatening to her.

The wound is still holding together, and she's still pounding on the kitty door every so often to see if it's unlocked now. And she's started climbing onto furniture that she's never climbed on before, including the family Webster's unabridged dictionary that is older than I am. It's an antique, not a kitty perch!

And she's been making a lot more noise than was her custom, but I'm hoping that will fade away when she resumes being able to go outdoors any time she likes.

She should be getting rid of the stitches in three days, and none too soon.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Misty's Misstep

The other day I heard cat shrieks from the backyard, and caught a glimpse of motion going over the back fence into the yard next door. I came out to look for Misty using the tracker tile on her collar, but she was out of range.

I was a bit worried, but found her home when I returned at the end of the day. She seemed herself, but did vocalize (a rarity) on being moved out of my lap. Later on, her dear friends the downstairs tenants reported that she seemed injured. They showed me where a piece of skin seemed to have been removed from her heel, and I made her a vet appointment for first thing the next morning.

The vet said it didn't appear to be a bite, but was a deep tearing of her skin, exposing tendon and muscle, and was right over a joint that could not be immobilized. The injury would be hard to heal. She must have tangled with something sharp in the backyard.

We got her cleaned out and stitched up, and pumped full of antibiotics and NSAIDs; and she came home in her least favorite accessory - the Elizabethan collar. It is supposed to keep her from chewing on the wound, which would contaminate it and pull out the stitches.

She had another collar a month or so ago, when she was spayed, and managed to work her way out of it twice. I gave up on it after two days, and she healed just fine. Now, though, I really need to keep the collar on for at least 10 days, and that's not going to be easy. She just kicks at it with all her strength until it gives up and slides off.

I'm also supposed to keep her indoors, and she doesn't like that a bit. She keeps going to the kitty door and pounding on it with her paws.

And I'm also supposed to keep her confined to a small room as much as possible, to keep her from running or jumping around and tearing out the stitches that way. So I've put her food, drink, and litter box into the bathroom. She doesn't like that much either, and sits in front of the door yowling.

So I'm sitting here in a pair of earplugs. Although she thinks I'm torturing her, I'm just trying to follow doctor's orders and get her healed up.

It's going to be a long two weeks.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The J Snake

The J church streetcar runs about a block from my home, so I often ride it when going somewhere that is not car-friendly.

The first time I rode it, I was amazed when the tracks left Church Street and edged into Dolores Park. There was grass on the left of the tracks and a planted hillside on the right. Suddenly I was at Disneyland, aboard an amusement park ride. We had left the paved street behind. Anything could happen.

I eventually realized that the tracks were taking a detour around a hill that was too steep for the train. The train needed to go around the side of the hill, via a winding pair of curves, to avoid sliding backwards. So much for the Disneyland magic.

Just the other day, though, some of the magic returned. The streetcar is articulated; it has a joint in the middle that allows the parts to move separately from side to side and up and down. I was sitting in the back of the car, and was watching the front half as it turned this way and that, and pointed uphill before the back half reached the same slope. Suddenly I was riding a huge serpent, like the sand worms of Dune, as I watched the head sway back and forth, independently of the body where I was. It was trippy.