Tuesday, August 31, 2010

faces of mental illness

I have been playing around the idea of a project of photographing people with the label of mentally ill. I am both amazed and appalled about the stigma still attached to those struggling with mental illness. So many people walking around out there, have some sort of diagnostic label. But, as I tell all of my clients at work:

You are not your diagnosis
You are not your chart
You are you

I want to present to the world a montage of the beautiful faces, the beautiful people who happen to be struggling with depression or anxiety or schizophrenia or bipolar or simply struggling through a difficult time in life.

i now believe in god

Let it be known that
I have seen god in my dog.
The way he loves unconditionally.
The way he greets everyone with love and enthusiasm.
The way his puppy cuddling warms the heart.
The abundant energy, zest and joy for life.
How he doesn't mind ear and tail tugging.
The soulfulness of his eyes.
The graceful flippy curl of his tail.
The gentle fold of his left ear.
His cold wet puppy nose
and his warm slobbering puppy kisses.
All proof that god exists.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

that's a zinger of a horoscope

Strong emotions, wacky risks and spontaneous outbursts are all scheduled for you today, making for an exciting time. The challenges you're giving those around you might make them a bit uncomfortable, but then that's not really your problem, is it? You crave forward motion, politeness be darned, and if you must act on impulse and provoke rage, that's okay. You can always make nice later.

the beauty of the power game

The tension created with the use of slow motion in combination with the power and athleticism of these woman make for an amazing series of very short videos. Well done Dewey Nicks and NY Times Magazine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

monday monday

Another Monday has rolled around as has the beginning of another work week.

Why do most people dislike Mondays? Did you ever think of viewing it as another opportunity for a new beginning? What do you think? Does this perspective make the day any more tolerable?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

mad as heck and emailing in ire

After taking the dog out for a final walk before bedtime, I noted the foul synthetic skunk-like chemical smell looming heavy in the air. Chemical warfare to kill off the mosquitoes, I presumed. Upset with myself for not checking the county's website for spray areas this week, I logged on to not my area was NOT included in the spray area. Either they sprayed here anyway, or this chemical crap travels even without a breeze. My ire got the best of me and I emailed the county executive office (I was tired and didn't proof read, so excuse any typos/grammatical woopses):

Dear Mr. Levy, et al:

Want to know what's bugging me? Mosquitoes? No. Getting a fine mist of toxic chemicals sprayed over my area for a potential threat of catching a potentially fatal bug spread virus is flaming my ire.

Look at the stats for 2009:
U.S. Population: 305,529,237 (estimated)
Total number of West Nile Infections: 720*
Fatalities from West Nile: 32*
Even the year with the highest number of cases in 2001 the risk was still minuscule.

Is this worth dousing people with known liver tumor producing and fish killing chemical warfare in light of the statistics? Who makes the decision on who gets toxic crap dumped on them and who gets spared? Not the people getting doused, that is for sure. Indeed I know there is the "no spray" list, which does not help people that rent and does nothing for aerial spraying. Look at the stats of how many people died from cancer last year and compare that to the risk of West Nile infections and fatalities. It is frightening that the powers that be are that short sighted that they cannot properly weigh the risks and benefits. These chemicals are toxic and will absolutely have an impact on the environment, people and ecosystem.

Thank you for reading my rant.


Melissa S****** (nee M*********)

*stats published by the CDC

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


It is amazing how many different layers of emotions a person can feel simultaneously. Joy, frustration, anger, elation, curiosity, caring, selfishness, selflessness, motivation, laziness and more are all swirling around in a cirque-like number of color and sound. Amazingly, it feels fantastic! I feel ALIVE and ready to take on ANYTHING. I am OPENING my heart wider and telling the UNIVERSE YES!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

and now for something lighter

to kill or not to kill, that is the question

To add to the reasons why I dislike this area: THIS GUY, living in the "Heart of Long Island," beat his 7 month old bloodhound to death. He tragically tortured a puppy. Why? Because the puppy ran out of the back gate of his property. This truly disgusts me.

Not nearly as disgusting but bothersome none the less are the reactions of people wishing to have the same fate taken out on the man. (An eye for an eye?) I pondered this for a bit. Now do not get me wrong, this guy deserves a severe punishment. But if the law allowed, would taking his life via death sentence be any more "right" than his killing of the puppy? What about if this guy killed a rapist or another murderer? Does that change your opinion? Does man-made law make killing ethically correct?

The death penalty. It's interesting that we can make killing an action permissible by state law, but assisted suicide is illegal everywhere. This is a strange, strange place indeed.

Just some things to ponder. Your thoughts?

the good, the bad, the snuffily

The good: I am moving into a bigger office at work

The bad: It is because one of the other clinicians moved (we miss you, Michelle)

The snuffily: It is one of the offices that was wrecked in the flood and currently has no carpet and the bottom few feet of walls are temporarily particleboard.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the road not taken by robert frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

I, however, am going back to also take the other road. - Melissa

beat spittin buddhist

Reminds me of someone I knew...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

life's journey

Every choice we make
leads us
to where we are

And sometimes
it is even possible
to go back
and make
a different choice
the time
is right.

settle down, you nomad

Many of you know that, for a major portion of my life thus far, I have resided on Long Island (or The Island of Long, as I like to refer to it). This has not been a continuous thing. I spent many years moving around to various apartments in Colorado and Rhode Island. Having landed back on the shores of my birth (two more apartments worth) thoughts of finally living in a place where I can paint the ceiling fuchsia on a whim if the feeling grabs me have filled my mind. House hunting (sounds so barbaric) is in the forefront of my mind.

Being of limited funds (I'm not working as a therapist for the riches) causes limited options. After a few weeks of looking in affordable, non-gang infiltrated areas, I posed a question to myself: If money was not a factor, where on Long Island would I live? Well, frankly, I stumped myself. There are many places I wouldn't mind living, but what town would I WANT to live... none of them. Please don't misunderstand, there are some really lovely places, towns, attractions, and activities on the Island that are wonderful. Additionally, I love being close to my family and friends. It is just that this query made me realize that I do not particularly want to be living here.

The traffic, rudeness, overabundance of inhabitants and the lack of quiet spots to just be with my thoughts all make me question being back here for the long run. Public transportation is not well designed and is pricey, bike paths are often dangerous to travel on and it is difficult to live here without a personal fuel utilizing vehicle. Let us not even talk about the exuberant cost of living. Despite all this negative, the idea of having a place to call home that is truly home makes me salivate. Thankfully, we are not on any sort of deadline to move. There is ample time to figure it all out.

I posed this question to friends who are or were from the Island, most of them focused on the negatives of living here, but I am still curious to keep asking others the question, so please comment and share your thoughts:

What town on Long Island would you want to live in and why? (If you do not know the Island personally, go by what you know about it.)

Where off the island (other places in NY, states, or countries) would you want to live and why?

i hear you

Deaf dancer and choreographer Antoine Hunter Explain How Communicate with deaf people. This guy is so expressive and captivating on video, whether he is communicating or dancing. Simply amazing! Second video is a performance piece.

Monday, August 2, 2010

it is me or am i narcissistic?

I am simply amazed by this. Back in 2003-ish during one of the times I was "off again" from an on-again, off-again relationship, I very briefly (three weeks?) dated a guy who was also "off again" from a similar relationship. (Double rebound?) The end of this short fling occurred when he had the opportunity to be "on again" with the woman he was deeply in love with. He dumped me. No big deal, life went on with no hard feelings. We remained friendly and I even became friends with his "on again" girlfriend.

Fast forward to 2009. I ran into the rebound guy at a music festival and, logically, I went over and said hello. His less-than-warm response made me question whether he even remembered who I was. I chalked it up to the shortness of the relationship and the "longness" of his pot smoking.

Apparently, he did remember me but was upset that I didn't "fight for his affection" after he cut it off. WHAT??!!!? Really?

So let me get this straight. He was actually miffed so much because I didn't challenge his girlfriend (who I had become friends with) to try and continue a three week rebound relationship...miffed enough that he still held hard feelings SIX YEARS LATER?

All my years of studying human behavior and this one has me baffled.