Thursday, September 30, 2010

remembering Kurt

There have been several suicides of gay teens recently, some the result of years of anti-gay bullying. Is there anything sadder than that? It's very discouraging that as we are making progress toward equality young gay men are still driven to suicide. But I look at all the progress that has occurred since I was a teen and usually feel better.

The recent suicides have made me think about Kurt, one of my classmates in school. Kurt moved to town at the start of fifth grade, and we became friends. We went to school together through high school. We were somewhat close in fifth and sixth grades but drifted apart after that. Then in junior year of high school I noticed a change in Kurt. He became quiet and quit talking to people except when someone spoke directly to him. He also stopped doing his homework and seemed to be in trouble with teachers for that all the time. What I noticed most was his smell. It was obvious to me that he quit bathing and he smelled pretty bad. Being the naive 16 year old that I was, I just wondered why he wouldn't take a shower. In retrospect it is obvious that he was very depressed and didn't care any more. But neither I nor anyone else seemed to realize what Kurt's problem was. One day he got a ride home with a classmate and seemed to be OK. I think that he had made his decision by then. He went home and hung himself, and his twelve year old sister found him later. Looking back I am pretty sure that Kurt was gay - maybe I had a little gaydar even back then. He didn't seem to like sports but played baseball when he was younger because his father wanted him to. Bullying was part of the problem - we went to an all-male Catholic high school, and the in crowd and bullies were merciless toward those that they considered weak. I wish that I had some of the experience that I have now to spot depression - I'm a primary care physician, so I see it nearly every day. Another preventable death, another victim of homophobia.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

half shaved typhoid Larry

Sorry that I haven't posted in so long. I got busy, and I was reading a really great series of stories by Michael Arram. If you are interested they are the Henry series and available online at

Recently the entire family has been ill with colds. Leo may have brought it home from school or I might have from work. David is blaming me and calling me "typhoid Larry." If you don't get the joke email me and I'll explain it.

A few years ago I noticed that a mole on my leg was changing, so I had it evaluated and removed. One part of it was on its way to melanoma but wasn't there yet. So now I apply sunscreen everywhere before I run, and it's much easier if I shave my legs. So I was half finished the second leg the other day when the electric razor died. Now I have one shaved leg and one partially shaved leg - it looks strange, as you would guess.

It summary I'm a half shaved typhoid Larry

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day, and curry-less curry

Yesterday was Labor Day, so Leo and I did the local Labor Day run. I ran the 10k and he ran the kids 1k. He wanted me to run along with him, as the parents of some of the smaller kids' parents do. But he took off into a herd of kids at the start, and I would have had to knock over other kids to keep up with him, so I stopped. It turns out that he fell and scraped his hands, so I wish that I had run with him. My race went OK. I started out too fast so didn't have much at the end, but my time was OK - a little over 51 minutes unofficially.

I cooked a curried vegetable dish that David really likes for dinner on Sunday night. I thought that it didn't taste right and commented on that. David said that it tasted fine to him, and Leo said that it was the best that I ever made that dish. I went back and looked at the recipe and realized that I have left the CURRY out of the curried vegetables. So it was just a mix of vegetables. No wonder it didn't taste right. So what am I to make of my husband saying that it tastes fine and my son saying that it was the best that I had ever made that dish? I just need to realize that my husband and son just don't like anything even mildly spicy, while I need some spice or heat in food for it to taste good. I made a Thai curry once and David couldn't even eat it, and I agree it was a little hot. The next time I tried half the curry in the recipe, which didn't work either. Leo was young, so he didn't know the correct words to say but said "This makes my teeth hurt!", while David told me never to cook it for the family again. The two of them think that mild salsa is too hot, while I think that the "hot" is too mild. I wonder where I got a taste for heat - my parents never served any spicy food and don't like it now. Maybe I'm just an aberration, in yet another way.

I also want to welcome a new follower, TwoLives. It seems like I've "seen" you around here before, TwoLives. Maybe I've read your blog or commented on a blog that you commented on. Either way, welcome. Feel free to tell us about you or your blog if you want.