The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Numb, Yet Placcid... And A Dog Story

Thank you to all of you who have commented. It touched me greatly to receive your words of help and advice. Specific responses occur below:

Leann - I fear death, like I suspect a good percentage of us do, for even if we have some sort of religious faith, our faith is not so strong as to be unshakable. In those moments, we fear. I agree with you that exercise is a must, yet I am not finding any way to allow me to accomplish said currently. I am still trying to figure out how to incorporate it.

Austere - Yes, I believe you are right. It is akin to traumatic stress, occuring prior to the event. And, yes again... I agree... the "ranting" does seem to help me carry on sometimes.

Cheryl - Thank you, Cheryl, for reading and for your first comment. I appreciate it.

Lynn - thank you, Lynn. I agree. But the hard part is I never imagined feeling so many different of these worries and fears all simultaneously. That is the aspect that is so shocking and so gnawing at my minimal stamina.

Mago - You have hit the nail on the head sir, when you speak of the "fear of being alone." I often have nightmares where I watch the deaths of all o fthose I know and love and I end up all alone. I cannot act, nor stop these deaths... I simply in my nightmare, observe each one. I wake up with clenched fists and sweat pouring off of my body.

Abbagirl - Thank you for encouraging people here. I have been moved by the great number of comments. Your comment also has been helpful. When my mother passes away, I shall be an orphan. I know it sounds odd, an old, grey-bearded professor speaking of being an orphan. Yet, it is how I will feel in my soul.

Jonathon - Thank you sir, for your mention on your site. I appreciate the effort greatly. I never used to think I was as morose as my brother, but now I see I can be similar. I had always thought of myself as a jovial fellow. But I have never had this ongoing sort of fear and saddness before.

Kristen - I am not familiar with the concept of spirit guides. They sound possibly helpful. Perhaps we could talk about this further?

SimplyTim - I agree 100% about walking. Yet, I have yet to figure out how to break the barrier and restart my 5 mile walks. It seems like a lifetime ago and yet it has been only months.

Amanda - Thank you. Yes, withdarwl can be worse. But it never seems like that when I begin that.

Summer - I would also be very willing to talk via e-mail. If you know you will be back here, I can give you my e-mail.

Red Robin - Sir, thank you. I have always felt a kindred spirit with you over the years I have known you. I also really enjoy your new site.

Proxima - Thank you, dear Proxima. I think I do take your advice in many ways. You and others here have been my support. You have been my way to grieve, yet remain strong to my family. You have given me your readership so that I can know my deeper core of grief and fear and pain can be heard. You help me to be stronger for them, those that need me.

Trekant - very true, sir.

* * * * *

Today has been a rather non-descript day. I feel mentally numb and placcid. Neither good nor bad. Not who I used to be, but not the fearful person I have so often been of late. While I loved who I used to be, it is perhaps foolish to pine over such historical artifact.... I will never be that person again, and this is the new me. Warts and all. I had damn well better get used to this person, that is me.

* * * * *

A newswire gave me a brief chuckle today because it reminded me of my former life, that time when I was a young doctoral student. Here is the story, and I shall elaborate further afterwards:

Pet Shop Owner Creates Beer for Dogs

Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:38 AM EST
Associated Press

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — After a long day hunting, there's nothing like wrapping your paw around a cold bottle of beer. So, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, created a beer for her Weimaraners made from beef extract and malt.

Benito, a 5-year-old Chihuahua, drinks beer from a bottle in the southern town of Hulst, Netherlands, Sunday Jan. 21, 2007. Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the town of Zelhem created a non-alcoholic beer for her Weimaraner dog made from beef extract and malt, and consigned a local brewery to make and bottle the beer, called Kwispelbier, after the word "kwispel", which is Dutch for wagging a tail.

"Once a year we go to Austria to hunt with our dogs, and at the end of the day we sit on the verandah and drink a beer. So we thought, my dog also has earned it," she said.

Berenden consigned a local brewery to make and bottle the nonalcoholic beer, branded as Kwispelbier. It was introduced to the market last week and advertised it as "a beer for your best friend."

"Kwispel" is the Dutch word for wagging a tail.

The beer is fit for human consumption, Berenden said. But at euro1.65 ($2.14) a bottle, it's about four times more expensive than a Heineken.

* * * * *

The above story reminds me of my own dog that I had during graduate school. As was custom at our school, we graduate students, and many of the faculty as well of our Department, would gather at a home or bar each Friday afternoon to drink and talk "shop". If you have never been around slightly tipsy academic biologists, you would be in for a surprise. It is both boisterous and bawdy, yet still scientific.

Well, during many of these Friday forays, I would bring my dog, Maxwell, with me. One time, quite early on, I and several others noticed that Max would attempt to stick his tongue into beer bottles and cans that were sitting on the floor. So, presuming he was thirsty, we decided to pour him a beer in his bowl. Well, he took quite a fancy to this, and drank the beer down immediately. I suspect for his size and weight, the single beer would have been roughly equal to me having 4-5 beers myself.

It became a ritual each Friday... both for me and for Max. And also, it because a highlight of many of the Friday gatherings... both from my friends, but also from faculty.

Max enjoyed this once a week pursuit as much as I did.



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