Wednesday, May 20, 2009

rain; torpor

So the "rainy season" is upon us here in the vast paved suburb that is south Florida. Which means, in effect, that after an hour or two of sunshine, or mixed sunshine in the morning, come the early afternoon the clouds bank in & begin emptying themselves, sometimes with brutal intensity. At best, it's overcast all afternoon & begin raining in the evening.

I've discovered over the past few years that my moods are appalling linked to the weather; if I lived in Norway, I would probably have killed myself years ago – how in the world did I survive those years in Ithaca? At any rate, the rainy season always slows me down, physically & mentally, & the coincidence of its arrival with a rather nasty set of infections (pinkeye, chest cold) has rendered me practically comatose over the past week or so. Here's hoping that the wonders of modern medical technology, in the form of massive does of antibiotics, will pull me out by the weekend.

But there's still the rain.
David Rich of Gloucester has been carrying on the Olson legacy with aplomb. The first issue of his journal Process hit the shelves last year, featuring work by Nathaniel Tarn, Pierre Joris, Alan Davies, Jerome Rothenberg, & a host of others (including some fascinating unpublished pieces by Edward Dahlberg, including letters to Fanny Howe, a letter to Louis Zukofsky, and a poem addressed to LZ).

Over the next couple of years, Process will be appearing not as a perfect-bound journal but as a series of chapbooks. The first one, Process: The Basement Tapes, is out now, printing work by James Cook, Donald Wellman, Craig Stormont, Ewa Chrusciel, and David Rich. There're also three small pieces by yr. humble blogger – 3 excerpts from a long project, Torture Garden: Naked City Pastorelles: "Blood Is Thin," "Demon Sanctuary," & "Thrash Jazz Assassin."

The Basement Tapes is available for $5; Process #1 for $14: contact David at process[dot]journal[at]gmail[dot]com.


Steven Fama said...

Being sick sucks, being mentally (psycholgically - emotionally) hammered by the weather might be worse.

For the latter, I suggest considering whether you've SAD, as the acronym has it, and whether you might possibly benefit from professional help and treatment, including medication. It's not an uncommon condition, and there may be things that'll help.

Your description of pink eye and chest cold, together with the mention of treatment via antibiotics, doesn't seem right. Antibiotics are vastly over-used, and using them when not needed puts your future health at risk.

Antibiotics for pink-eye are necessary and advisable only if its bacterial, not viral. And antibiotics are a waste -- do no good at all -- for the simple chest cold. Antibiotics are necessary for pneumonia, but that condition is far different than the chest cold.

A primary care provider who willy-nilly prescribes antibiotics for a pinkeye and chest cold is ignorant, in my opinion, and dangerous. The patients with those conditions "get better" after taking antibiotics is an example of coincidence: the patients would have gotten just as "better" if they'd not taken the medication.

Maybe I've broken norms of blog ettiquette here, but on the other hand, what I say is posted on the walls all over the facilities at my HMO, and is easily and widely available all over the web. I'm trying to help. You don't want to unnecessarily build resistance to antibiotics.

Mark Scroggins said...

Hi Steven--

I couldn't agree with you more about the dangers of overusing antibiotics -- which is why I resist filling prescriptions for them (probably only undergone a course of 'em 3 or 4 times in the last decade). But a tussle with walking pneumonia year before last, & the fact that this particular infection -- probably shouldn't have just called it a "cold" -- has hung on for 2 1/2 weeks, finally sent me to the pharmacy.

The pinkeye is definitely bacterial.

I've thought about the seasonal affective disorder over the years, but decided that my own torpor in the FL rainy season has less to do with SAD (after all, I get plenty of sun in the interstices, the lack of which I've always read is crucial to SAD) than with an overdetermined seasonal "slump" -- end of the semester, the rains, the general cultural irritations of living in this particular corner of the republic.

Thanks for looking out for me...

Steven Fama said...

Okey-dokey, and get well quick!

I am sort of counting the days (months?)(years?) until you get through the entire Ruskin set, so I can hear you talk about the index, which in my mind has now become legendary even though I've only read a sentence or two about it....

Mark Scroggins said...

You made me take it down & read the introduction, which is itself a mini-dissertation on index-making; expect a blog post sometime soon. (After all, it's not cheating to look forward to the bloody *index*, is it?)