another self-absorbed post from jupe pretty much bereft of ideas


So yesterday was full. I worked hard on my Bach piano piece in the morning. Called Ann McKnight the therapist and set up a meeting in June (her first available time). She said she was a provider for Priority Health (our insurance people) and that she did not need a referral. Eileen (who was at Evergreen when I made this call) pointed out that we are an HMO and that McKnight might need a referral. I left a message on her answering service to this effect.

Eileen busied herself with taxes and I walked to church to practice organ. Eileen attended a swimming aerobic class in the afternoon. After that we drove up for my doctor’s appointment.

The appointment went well. Doctor Fuentes is easy to talk to and intelligent. We went thoroughly through why I asked for a referral to mental health care people. She told me that she had already referred McKnight to our insurance so we were covered there.

She gave me the usual GP questions about depression for thoroughness sake (Thoughts of suicide? Binge eating?). She said I didn’t have warning signals of clinical depression but agreed it would be a good idea to pursue the mental health thing.

She also looked at my BP readings and listened to my heart. She was pleased with progress there. And I actually was a pound lighter in the weigh-in than the last time she saw me (I still need to lose weight, thought). The nurse took my blood pressure and it was low. This is a big deal for me. Doctor Fuentes and her staff think I have “white coat syndrome” because I often have initially high blood pressure readings but usually calm down and have better ones before I leave their office.

I, on the other hand, think I have a weird inclination to see weight gain as failure. So they weigh me and my anxiety is high about failure. Then they take my blood pressure. Yesterday I didn’t worry about it having gained weight. I knew that I had.

I also see this odd inclination to equate testing with success or failure in my own Mother. I know that I feel like I fail several times a day. But I rarely give up in the face of it. It’s usually musically related but not always.

I remind myself that I easily accept failure and shortcomings in others, why not in myself?

Doctor Fuentes was amused by my concern about lead poisoning. Apparently since the Flint debacle this is something she hears more. She instantly said we would test my blood for lead levels. I will go to the lab next week for a blood draw.

This morning my friend Rhonda has graciously agreed to play piano duets with me. I haven’t prepared the scores the way I wanted to but I am looking forward to this.

Last night I stumbled across a wonderful live recording of Keith Jarrett and his trio playing standards. Here is the entire lengthy video.

This recording is one of the best arguments I have seen for returning to the classic Fake Book tunes to make artistic statements. I have only listened to about twenty minutes of this video so far, but it blows me away. Jarrett and his trio definitely have something to say artistically that I rarely hear in academic Jazz. Of course Jarrett himself is a direct line to the Jazz tradition having participated in some Miles Davis recordings including one of my favorites, “Bitches Brew.”

Maybe I should add, that one of the things I love about Jarrett’s playing is the lyricism of his improvised melodies. This definitely is to the fore in what I have listened to of this recording.

Marine’s Death in a Secret Iraqi Base Reflects a Quietly Expanding U.S. Role – The New York Times

The NYT verges on journalism by reporting about troop movement that is not in the minds of Americans.

Obama’s Latest View on Secrecy Overlooks Past Prosecution of Leaks – The New York Times

McChesney has a realism about what can be accomplished by journalists at the best of times. Governmental criticism whether of military ventures or policies is basic. One is tempted when reviewing Obama’s presidency in paraphrasing: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

For all his accomplishments, he has extended the American agenda into more killings via drones, lack of transparency in his own administration and hostility to whistleblowers. Not good stuff.


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