selfie & calavera craneo

Selfie with colored Skull …and thoughts on high blood sugar levels (type 2 diabetes) & coloring books.

G-selfie w skull

on July 4, 2016….in Austin for a performance by Blues Squeezebox at the Sahara… i woke up to Bell’s Palsy.  for a few minutes, i was spooked.  the right side of my face was immobile but i realized it was not a stroke.  i couldn’t blink my right eye for 6-8 weeks.   wore an eye patch.  like a kid, i thought that was cool.  there’s not much research or effective info on many diseases…not much $$$ there… and Bell’s Palsy is one of these mystery diseases & usually goes away on its own.

alongside the Bell’s Palsy, i was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  my blood sugar had been high most of my adult life and even as a 60 year old i was given to binge-ing on sweet treats.

though i had scaled back on pan dulce, lost weight and exercised regularly, i had been feasting most nights on a mango juice based smoothie.  from a calorie standpoint it seemed healthy but from a CARB COUNTING perspective it was a disaster in the making.

my A1c came back at 10.  over the course of the next 3 months i cut my carb intake as much as i could & my A1c dropped quickly to 6.7.  3 months later it was 6.3.  3 months later it rose to 6.7.  on my last A1c in October 2017, my A1c dropped back to 6.3.  this surprised me as i had loosened my low carb diet.  i was going to ask for Metformin.

***do take blood pressure medication as it was elevated when i visited new doctor’s office in early October 2017.

my goal now is to again tighten my low carb diet and hopefully bring my A1c under 6.  if that is possible, then i will be a high normal blood sugar.  my main concern is to avoid the complications of high blood sugar….heart, kidney disease, glaucoma, strokes, etc.


my takeaway?  my blood sugar levels have dropped mainly because i’ve stopped binge-ing.

still eat bread, pan dulce, tortillas but moderately… compared to my previous intake.

i rarely eat beans, rice.  never eat fruit.  i’m taking herbs.  Turmeric.  Ginger.  Gymnema Sylvestra.  these are used in India & (i think) Ayurvedic medicine to treat high blood sugar.  right before i go to sleep, i drink a tablespoon or 2 of apple cider vinegar dissolved in water and with some artificial sweetener.  counteracts the “dawn effect”.

i’m hoping these in combination with avoiding binge-ing, will keep my blood sugar levels under control so that i can still enjoy some bread, pan dulce, tortillas, beans…after all i am a Meficano/Chicano!

the selfie for FB portrait

i wanted to post a semblance of myself on FBook.  most folks post actual photos of themselves in various poses.  i have never done so though i am in others’ photos.

i, also, wanted to show the skull …on my right side… that i colored in. 

done on a cotton bag i picked up at a $ store.

since i’ve picked up some coloring books.  the vendors claim they’re relaxing but i find them awkward, constraining & ugly …lines are way too dark to be creative with them.

the photo shows one that i did color in…to my left.

Okay … but i prefer to do my own drawings.

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Monk at 100

Shiraz Socialist

Thelonious Sphere Monk, born (Rocky Mount North Carolina) Oct 11 1917; died Feb 17 1982

Above: Monk (piano) with Charlie Rouse (thr sax). Larry Gales (bass), Ben Riley (drums), Fairfield Hall, Croydon UK): playing Rhythm a Ning

The always-perceptive Gary Giddins commented, in a 2002 interview:

I can’t imagine anyone confusing Monk with any other performer. If you do a blindfold test and play Monk, the listener is likely going to know it’s him after about two bars. Everything about the way he approaches the piano and music is so distinctive. People used to use words like idiosyncratic and eccentric, but there is, of course, more than that — there is a tremendous beauty in Monk’s music, and it is peculiar to him. Everything about his attack, the particular percussiveness of his style, his use of chords, his astonishing time, can only be described as “Monkian.” And in terms…

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George Bernard on the funniest joke in the world:

2017-07-05 (14)truth is the funniest joke

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W. Eugene Smith. two photographs. the first: mother and child of Minamata (a town that suffered horrific mercury poisoning) and Monk at Smith’s loft.

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Malcolm X on “education”

2017-06-28 (30)Malcolm X on education 1

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Happy B’day Dalia & Che

my friend and companera Dalia has turned another page in the calendar.  i w’d always pretend to forget her b’day and claim i thought it was Bastille Day,  July 14.  in fact, she shares a b’day with one her idols, Ernesto Che Guevara who w’d have turned 89 this year.  here he’s pictured with two of our favorites, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.

Dalia is shown taking the oath of office as President of SEIU Local 1000.

the last photo is of the Zapatistas having breakfast in Sanborn near Las Bellas Artes and the Alameda.  She and i had breakfast there several times when we visited Mexico City way back when…though the scene pictured is much older.  she was/is a great friend.

Dalia being sworn in as President of her local

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three Graphic novels

when i visit the library (one of my favorite places) lately, i check out the graphic novels section not for the latest superheroes, villains or a juvenile sci-fi  or super-natural fantasy but for more “serious” reading. sometimes, i get lucky.

last year, i found When David lost his voice a graphic novel by Judith Vanistendael. she tells the story of a man diagnosed with throat cancer, given 6 months to live and the effects on the women in his life. in addition to an engaging story line, the water color drawings are inventive & excellent.

a few weeks later, i found Rolling Blackouts, dispatches from Turkey, Syria and Iraq” by Sarah Glidden who follows two journalists (friends calling themselves the Seattle Globalist) and a former marine on a trip to document the effects of the Iraq war on refugees and others. this graphic novel is more conventionally drawn but the story and dialogues are reality based.

Years ago, i picked up a copy of Art Spiegelman’s Maus…not a “funny” subject but this graphic novel is regarded as a classic retelling of the Holocaust.

the graphic novels that catch my attention have a dramatic narrative arc and illustrations that make them doubly interesting.  in addition, they are quick reads.  i read When David lost his voice twice in one evening.

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