Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sara Paretsky's 2012 Novel - Some Information About Mental Health

Sara Paretsky's 2012 novel Breakdown stays far from revealing the identity of the killer until close to the end.  The private detective, V.I. Warshawski, parks her car and walks into the action, in a cemetery in a dark and stormy rainy night.  We are with her as she works at gaining information, meeting characters, and continuing situations with her supportive friends.  "You need to go right into the hospital," her friend the doctor says to her, and a familiar conversation continues in a familiar way. 

People in our time have only an incomplete overview of psychology and psychiatry as a part of public life and this inadequate awareness is addressed in the novel.  General information and details about mental health are included in Breakdown - the power of psychotropic medication, the danger of overdose and mixing with alcohol.  Unequal quality of care, and details about, especially, a colleague of V. I. Warshawski who has a bipolar disorder that is severe, are included in the story.   

After a time on the list at the library, I read Breakdown by Sara Paretsky and am returning it - it is Earth Day, on my bike ride earlier I saw a blue jay.  It is supposed to be 75 degrees today.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lyrics to Loyalty, a duet by Pat Boone and Steve Allen

Loyalty, a song from the movie, Mardi Gras -

Loyalty, Loyalty, we got a lot of that Loyalty.
Pat Boone:  If I'm dining with a doll and I run out of dough -
Steve Allen:  Well, I'd pick up the check and chick and blow, man, blow.
PB:  Thanks Steve.
Loyalty, Loyalty, we got a lot of that Loyalty.
SA:  Suppose your sister went and fell in love with me.
PB:  I'd have both her heads examined by the best M.D.
SA:  Hah, hah.
PB:  I would climb the highest mountain. 
I would be as faithful as a pup.
SA:  I would cross the burning desert. 
I would travel anywhere to louse you up.
PB:  My Pal.
Loyalty, loyalty, we're really loaded with loyalty.
PB:  If I went in for politics and all that jazz.
SA:  Well, forever true, I'd visit you in Alcatraz.
PB:  I knew I could count on you.
PB:  If I broke a leg my buddy
Would you rush to me by plane or blimp?
SA:  If you broke a leg my buddy
I'd come running just to teach you how to limp.
PB:  My friend.
Loyalty, Loyalty, we treat each other like royalty.
PB: Will we always stick together, rain or shine?
SA:  Absolutely, Positively, Pal of Mine,
That's the mission of, Great Tradition of, Definition of Loyalty.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daffodil Parade Float Snapshot

This float had two awards - I liked it immediately. On the other side there are rhubard plants in topsoil which look like they are really growing there. Behind the windmill, behind the float there is a giant rhubarb stem carried along by Vikings during the parade.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Must Fill In Tax Form / And Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day 2012 is almost here - a female must work, in addition to their work in 2011, until Tuesday to earn as much as a man earned in 2011. I have to fill out the tax form really soon because the last day is tomorrow.

Remembering Tom Heidlebaugh, from The Distinguished Poet Series

A daffodil beside the moving marchers was too long unclaimed so I went and got it. It is impolite not to pick them up, but at that point the daffodils are fresh. And I met the canoe from the canoe project, stepped back from its dark side with words in Native American language. That left me with thoughts of Tom Heidlebaugh. I worked with Tom Heidlebaugh from 1993-1996 on a poetry series.

When I worked with poetry with a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, several poets from readings in Tacoma united to do The Distinguished Poet Series at Arts Walk downtown. Although my heritage group has been The Order of Runeberg because my grandmother came from Finland, I studied some Johan Ludwig Runeberg and Scandinavian Culture at the University of Washington.

Johan Ludwig Runeberg was a Swedish-Finn who was a national poet of Finland. To understand national poets of Finland and Finland one might think of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and The Song of Hiawatha The Song of Hiawatha was modeled upon the Kslevala, and used the metrics of Elias Lönroth's recreation of the Finnish folk tales. The national poets of Finland used the official language, Swedish, to enrich the cultural consciousness of all of Finland.

With Tom Heidlebaugh's Canoe Story group, I could contemplate this outreach of cultural consciousness, Elias Lönroth and the Kalevala, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the Song of Hiawatha, myself and Tom Heidlebaugh's Canoe Story. And our series turned out to be very multicultural.

Earlier than that, after Tom Heidlebaugh had been diagnosed with cancer, he established a road trip poetry voyage through Mexico to Central America. Actually, I remember when I met him, at the Antique Sandwich Company at a reading when he presented a story of his travels. He was able to work although he was not well. Each group member gave a reading themselves, I remember The News Tribune wrote an appreciative article about his reading. We were often at the Pantages Rehearsal Hall. The group members met one week after each reading to talk about how it went and work on plans for the reading of the next month.

Tom Heidlebaugh died early in 1997. Around the end of June, 1997, there was a memorial service for him at Steilacoom's Sunnyside Park. One week later I found myself heading back there. I wrote about it in a journal:

I thought of the readings followed a week later by meetings - that if by any chance Tom's spirit had returned for the meeting someone would stop for a little at Sunnyside. I walked up the beach and past the shelter.

In the water skin divers, from the walk out of Steiacoom I could not tell if they were pilings or birds or seals - only a few people at the parking lot -

At the Lakewood Mall there was a rose show and I smelled a Queen Elizabeth Rose - one my mother had - I smelled a Queen Elizabeth Rose again...

At Sunnyside I was thinking of Tom's t-shirts he left to people - and found a green hair-tie washed up in the rocks - which reminded me of a pink hair-tie from Scandinavia and the walk to see Blå-Slipper - and I guess I did not want a bird to eat it - the color green- natural.

At the memorial service people watched a small object on the horizon become a canoe as it came near - the rowers pulled the canoe up the rocky beach and they carried a box which contained t-shirts that had belonged to Tom Heidlebaugh, which were awarded to friends at the service.

Tom Heidlebaugh's canoe book's title - Great Canoes: Reviving A Northwest Coast Tradition

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pierce County Reads Together Features Speeches by Jamie Ford, Author of The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Jamie Ford, author, spoke at Pierce College near Puyallup as an ending high note to the Pierce Couty Reads 2012 - The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  He will speak again at another location this evening.  I was early but two dozen people already were in the foyer at the Pierce College Theater, along with a book sales table monitored by King's Books' owner Sweet Pea.  I had not realized King's Books would manage the sales.  There were very close to a hundred when they opened the door at 11:45.  Among many Jamie Ford opening comments was the contrast of the audience to his usual bookstore talk crowd.  Some audience of students came in just at noon, most were Pierce County Reads people who appeared to be book club members, they arrived in groups of four or five.  They were still discussing the book - I heard the people behind me after I sat down.

When Books At Twelve-Ten discussed The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on Tuesday a similar contrast held.  They groups heading in at Pierce College were larger than our threesome, even with the email input we brought in from others.  One comment I made was something about how the unfolding of characters and plot works well with the context to increase tension as the Executive Orders occur. 

Jamie Ford said that within this geographical location we have an Institutional Memory of the Japanese Internment, across the Rockies this memory goes away.  Perhaps his Hotel, while of course a real hotel that is still there, in the title is also a reference to Institutional Memory.  It would be, also, an ironic reference to the camps as a hotel, an idea that occured to me as our bus went past the Western Washington Fairgrounds where Camp Harmony was seventy years ago. 

The 400 bus stops at the Puyallup Railroad Station.  Beyond the tracks is a restored old cannery, was it the drop-off point for a lot of berries?  Many Japanese were produce farmers.  When my mother and uncle referred to the Japanese Produce farmer who brought a wagon to the bottom of their hill, they inevitably mentioned the Japanese being sent to camps.  They did not talk about more details geographically.  I did not encounter the Japanese Language Center until the University of Washington was planning a branch in Tacoma's Downtown.

It was such a beautiful afternoon that I found my way along parking lots to the College exit, crossed medians to reach a sidewalk along a stressful street.  Along my way construction was going on for a Medical Facility.  At last I reached the mall where the transit center was.  I did not want to wait for the bus.

Along the ride there were flowering trees, horses in a field where I had looked for them on the way out.  March was rather busy so I did not hear Michael Sullivan speak about the Tacoma Japanese Community.  That day I went to the Swedish-Finn Historical Society and to the U of Washington News Microfilm - but I went through the Quad and saw the Cherry Trees in blossom.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daffodil Parade 1950s

There has been a sad experience for the Daffodil Festival in Pierce County this year. A princess has died. The high school students are always conscious of the Daffodil Experience. Tacoma is where I went to public school and I remember that experience. The photo I include was taken by my mother on one of the trips - she brought my sister and myself to pretty much this same street to sit on the curb and watch for the posses.

Murals At MLK Near the Community Health Project

This photo shows, on the left, a sign at the Allen Place Renovation Project, originally the Valhalla Hall.  This photo from 2008 at King Way in Tacoma shows two murals.  Recently the building to the far right of the murals, which is slightly shown with blue and a barber pole, was removed to make way for the Community Health Clinic.  

Tuesday morning I noticed work being done at the edge of the murals building.  Wednesday afternoon I stopped by to find out if the murals were threatened.  I think the murals are interesting.  A person with the workers explained that a wall of bricks from the demolished building had remained against the wall of the murals building, and those bricks were being taken out.  The murals building stays. 

Across the street, at the Allen A.M.E., I noticed balloons and people.   It was the end of the refreshments of the ground breaking for the clinic.  The ground breaking story was in the paper today. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today Books At Twelve Ten Will Discuss At The Corner of Bitter And Sweet

Books at Twelve Ten will discuss At The Corner of Bitter and Sweet at about 12:10 today.  We are at the Main Library, which is just a few blocks along Tacoma Avenue (at the left of the top photo) from the site of the Tacoma Japanese Language Center.  A prolonged effort to preserve the Language Center recently ended.  The building was removed, and a sculptured wall with an historic marker will explain the past there.  My photos were taken before the groundbreaking for the present U of Washington Tacoma Branch Library, in the mid-nineteen nineties. 

At the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, places the characters, who live in Seattle near South Jackson Street, within the historic World War Two removal of people of Japanese Descent from the Western United States.  Pierce County Reads has chosen this book for its 2012 read, so Books at Twelve Ten chose to do their choice for the April Selection.  Our discussion should be a good one. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012