Category Archives: battling depression

What I am Thankful For

I am grateful for the fact that I have never killed anyone in my life so far. When I turned 18 in 1974, I signed up for the draft as was required by the law, and I received a draft number that had a high likelihood of being called up. I had to think about joining the Navy as my father did in the 1950s during the Korean Conflict. Or possibly resign myself to going to jail for refusing to be called up. I was a confirmed pacifist from early on in my life (a result of the trauma caused by being secretly a victim of a sexual assault at the age of ten.) So, I lucked out and the draft was suspended before the government would’ve decided to draft me in 1975.

I also did not ever cause the death of anyone by a traffic accident, household accident, or any other accidental way. As long as I am still driving, I have to use the caveat that I have not killed anyone yet.

I am also grateful for pessimism. I have been accused of being optimistic about many things. But I would argue it is a tactical advantage to be firmly pessimistic. I look at every possible outcome of any and all undertakings. I plan on things going wrong, including serious thought being given to how I will deal with huge roadblocks to my goals, concocting workable plans B, C, D, and even all the way to Z. Being a pessimist means you will not put all the Easter eggs in one basket, especially the basket the drunken Easter bunny plans on hiding at the bottom of the river in a bag full of stones. I am not deterred in my quests by the first, second, or third obstacle. I am willing to rent scuba equipment to deal with the drunken bunny thing. I do not get downhearted because I expected the worst to happen. And I deal with it for as long as it is possible. Persistence and preparedness are worth far more than luck and chance. And this is where I have to endure the inevitable claim that I am secretly an optimist. I confess. I do believe I can wear down and conquer anything. If that’s optimism, then I have to insist that I have renamed it the “Fruits of Pessimism.”

And I am also grateful for the chance to become a nudist, even though not until late in life because it represents a victory over the monster that abused me when I was ten. He left me with a lifelong fear of being naked in the presence of others, extreme difficulty with having a sex life, including self-harm to my private parts, a fear of becoming a homosexual or a child molester, and deep depression about all this stuff I felt I had to keep secret. My mother and father both died without knowing it happened. But my wife and children know. My sisters both know. And I was able to spend last Memorial Day weekend with nudists at the Bluebonnet Nudist Park. I am now liberated of all the things that once made me feel like a monster and made me hate myself. His ghost has no further power over me. And I am grateful.

I know I am probably the only person in the US grateful for these three things all at the same time. But I think the most important things to be grateful for in life are the things you have overcome, and the means you have for overcoming them.


Filed under battling depression, commentary, Paffooney, philosophy

Tricks With Lazy Goals in Mind


As a writer, my goal is to create wisdom and new ideas and stuff that makes a reader feel happy, or sad, or angry, or even slightly insane.  But thinking is hard when your head hurts and your body aches and your sixty-sixth birthday is just around the corner.  (Yes, this Mickey is nearly 66, but can you believe that that other Mickey is going to be 94 on the day after I turn 66?)  Sometimes you just want to say, “Never mind that I wanted to post every single day for the past two years.  Just curl up in a ball and go to sleep.”  But there are ways to get something done even if your mind is full of the Sandman’s leavings and old, rotted dreams.


You can always get by with posting somebody else’s wisdom… somebody else’s thinking.  You don’t have to work too hard to paste things together.  After all, why else did you have to look at so many cut-and-paste essays over the years in middle school and high school?


And you can rely on the work you have already done collecting computer files full of colorful crap and stuff you like enough to steal to complete your cut-and-paste scrapbook post.  You don’t have to feel like you erred and are about to have your head cut off by an angry Groo.


And you know you can get a lot of cheap likes on Facebook with some of the stuff you have available to put in this post.  You have been working at the “Be funny!” thing for a long time and have gotten almost good enough at it to be funny on the fly.  And when you’ve gotten more than halfway to the goal, you can rest a bit.  Take a nap.  Regenerate the crazy things in your head so you can do this all again another day.


And if you can have a laugh before you are finished, even if no one else in the world gets the joke… well, at least you will feel a little bit better yourself.

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Filed under battling depression, blog posting, empathy, feeling sorry for myself, healing, humor, illness, self pity, strange and wonderful ideas about life, surrealism

Wrapped in Sunshine

Wrapped in sunshine, things are always better.

Artificial light simply does not compare.

Nudists like me are happiest when the only clothing we are wearing is sunshine.

Kids are prone to love being naked outdoors,

But they do tend to think what their parents teach them to think.

And their parents usually think nudists are dangerous…

Or just plain crazy.

But Sunshine can be an idea. What we former English teachers call a metaphor.

Today’s Lesson on the first day of Kindergarten… because Mickey is in his second childhood.

Having sunshine in your mind is a way of thinking that can benefit you better than you know.

Sunshine in your mind can simply be happy thoughts. And, remember, happy thoughts could make Peter Pan fly!

So, wrap yourself in Sunshine… And light up the world!

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Filed under battling depression, foolishness, goofy thoughts, healing, health, philosophy, poetry

550 on a Bad Weather Day

Mickey prefers to be red. In fact, during baseball season, Cardinal Nation Red. But on this day when he has reached 550 days in a row with at least one post, Mickey is blue. Blue with the rain and the pain and the failure to gain, not Toronto Blue Jays blue.

Mickey is lost at sea when it comes to the question, “What should I write about today, tomorrow, and the day after that?” He had some big ideas to write about… but they seem to be too big for his little head to really get around.

He wanted to write something about sex and sexuality and sex education. But you already know why he’s a clueless idiot on this particular topic. His sex life was screwed up at ten and further messed over by religious teachings, and even more religious teachings when he tried to change his religion. So, he really has no wisdom to share on the matter. He is better off sticking within his innocent little pre-pubescent mindset where he can be perpetually no more controversial than a twelve-year-old. But by now you have probably learned enough about Mickey to know that he is enough of a real writer to not be able to stay within the safe zone. You will probably be pretty upset with him over some post in the near future. (I know that is partly wrong too. Being upset is never pretty.)

This weekend he actually had an uptick in views on WordPress, probably due to making the Twitter Nudists aware of his post called, “Why I Need to Be Naked.” They went and read it and looked at the pictures and told Mickey via Twitter that it was good (apparently not realizing you can Like things on WordPress.) And they also looked through his old posts for the other nudist things on Catch a Falling Star. “Free to Be Naked” and “Nudist Notions” got dug up and read again and again. And I should warn you, more nudists than ever are following Mickey on Twitter now. He will probably bore you with more nudist-friendly stuff.

Now that Mickey is finally clear of bankruptcy, he started buying and collecting dolls again. Chilly Willy is not a plastic doll, but the rest of these are new since the bankruptcy ended. There is a good chance he will write about this subject again too, though clearly, it is a sign that his mental stability is going South fast. Old coots on Medicare should probably not be playing with dolls so much.

But Mickey is still blue, though he longs to be red. Arthritis pain, diabetic problems like sores, memory loss, and low blood sugar all work on his mood in very bad ways. But you never know when the sun will come out again. And, since we have been scorched by hot weather for more than a month, a little cool blue might be better than red hot anyway.

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Filed under autobiography, baseball fan, battling depression, cardinals, commentary, Depression, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, illness, Paffooney

Don’t Give Up!

Yes, I am philosophically a pessimist. I expect always that the worst outcome is the one I will have to live with. Hence, I was not as devastated by Donald Trump’s election as some who were too confident that Hilkary would win. And the climate crisis seems to be good reason to prepare for the worst that can happen. Some of it is already happening, already here.

But you really should listen to what this career futurist has to say about it.

The near future is, as documented with evidence in the video, far worse than we think it is. “Just doom, nothing else,” as Robin Williams declares. But too much pessimism at this point is the death of us. We have to keep trying. We can’t just give up.

A cheerleader who is not me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not the right person to be elected head cheerleader on this issue. I have given in to despair and weeping on more than one occasion already. Since the election of Trump, the conservative pillaging of the Supreme Court, the roll-back of EPA guidelines and restrictions, the erosion of fundamental voting rights (soon to be followed by other rights,) the mismanagement of the economy, the Covid crisis, wildfires in the West, the insurrection after the election of Joe Biden, and more and more things that signal doom and possible Armaggedon, we have to battle the urge to lie down and die.

Here is where the optimism of the Reverand Peale is critical.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, also definitely not me.

If we stop trying, our loss and subsequent death is insured. It is only by continuing to fight that we will have a chance to save ourselves. And this is beginning to happen everywhere.

In 2020 we turned out against the Evil-Clown President in record numbers. We wrested the control of the government out of the hands of the corrupt elephants and put it back in the hands of the hard-working but mostly stupid jackasses. Biden’s donkey-like devotion to following through on the work that needs to be done got us through the rest of the pandemic, getting ourselves vaccinated and acclimated to life with the reality of the new deadly virus.

We need, like the faun, to be one with our environment.

We have tried hard and kept at it to achieve much-needed climate-control legislation. The fossil-fuel industry has made it difficult, and we nearly gave up on the Build Back Better program, but it seems through perseverance that we may have finally gotten a critical piece of that over the hurdles after all.

One thing definitely indicated is that we will need to turn out to vote in the midterm elections again this year. If we don’t, the elitist elefantiasis party will take away all our gains and punish us again, playing their golden fiddles while the world burns.

We will never have the magic we need if we don’t try to conjure it.

But despair is still not warranted here. We know what we can do to solve the problems that face us. We have done similar things before, with the Cold War, World War II, and the hole in the ozone layer in the 1980s. What’s more we have the tools we need already, and what we don’t have is quickly being developed. There are plans in the works for mountain-sized storage batteries, massive solar-power arrays, and wind farms (many of which are already built and operating.) We can rebuild and upgrade the entire power grid, not just in the USA, but for the whole world. It needs, of course, to all be weather-proofed, meteor-proofed, solar-storm-proofed, and, hopefully, greedy-Republican-idiot-proofed.

We are not beaten if we don’t give up.

And as the futurist tells us in the video you didn’t watch, pessimists prepare us for disaster, but only the optimist can make us successful in living through it to a brighter future beyond.

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Filed under angry rant, battling depression, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, healing, health, humor, insight, inspiration, Liberal ideas, magic, Paffooney, pessimism, philosophy, politics, strange and wonderful ideas about life

The Universe Gets Wider

This is an amazing new picture from the James Webb Space Telescope.

We are learning more and more about the universe every single day. There is a space probe orbiting Jupiter right now that is learning things with its magnetometer about the Jovian magnetosphere that we never even suspected could be true. We may have found an earthlike planet with intelligent life circling the secondary star in the Alpha Centauri binary system, our closest neighbor among the stars. The Chinese have a robot on the moon that has successfully planted and grown a seed on the surface of the moon (inside an artificial environment, of course.) And the Democrats may be about to pass the biggest climate-change-combatting bill that has ever yet been passed, making it possible that the corporation-corrupted Republican Party won’t kill us all for short-term profits after all.

I have been finding dancing children and singing children and ventriloquists and artists and face-painters and cartoonists on Tik Tok that fascinate me and keep me from my writing by entertaining me until my batteries are almost dead.

My tongue hangs out to the floor at the shere beauty of the creativity of ordinary people on an art-intensive social media site.

I have definitely been searching for reasons not to be depressed and give up on life as it gets too incredibly hot and politically entirely too wrong-headed and crazy to allow us to individually thrive.

But life finds a way. We are not alone. And we are not without our own inner resources.

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Why Nudists are Necessary

I don’t expect you to accept my thesis whole-souled and become a nudist if you are a lifelong textile enthusiast. I understand the problem. The post-Victorian-era Christians, especially the fundamentalist extremists who think Adam and Eve’s nakedness is a sin after the fall from grace, work hard to put the fear of nakedness in everyone… from childhood onward.

But I have definitely learned in my older age that being nakedly open to new ideas is actually a good idea, not a sin. Human beings do not have to wear clothing to be mentally and physically healthy. And often, it is the very repressive nature of religion that causes the perversions and health problems that fire-and-brimstone preachers warn against.

The main stumbling block to a world where nudism and naturism are accepted as not only natural, but essential to a happy life, is the association nakedness automatically has with sexual activity. Pictures of naked people, especially naked and attractive people, are almost automatically considered porn. The average viewer of naturist and nudist materials assumes that the purpose of such material is to reach a sexual, and therefore evil, outcome. How nudist materials can actually affect the sex-lives of any but religiously repressed teenaged boys, I cannot effectively explain.

You may have noticed from being both a parent of your own children and a keen-eyed observer of other people’s children (only to prove you are a better parent than they are, of course) that it is harder to keep clothes on young children than it is to get them to take their clothing off. Kids enjoy swimming, playing, and running around in giggly circles completely naked. That urge to do such things that are inherently offensive to elderly church ladies has to be carefully trained out of them.

Being naked, though routinely trained out of us as a furless species, has provable health benefits. Vitamin D, acquired by spending time exposed to sunlight, is crucial to emotional health, and low quantities of vitamin D in the body result in a susceptability to severe and life-threatening depression. People are also attracted to other people with a healthy tan (not eaten up by skin cancer or constantly peeling from sunburn, but a healthy tan.) And I can testify from experience with nudism, if you are comfortable enough with the people around you to take off all your clothes in their presence, (family, doctors, other health professionals, and fellow nudists you both know and that show a reciprocal comfort with being nude in your presence,) there is a culture of trust, respect, and love around you.

And this portrait, recently done by me, of my young friend Naomi, demonstrates that there is no privacy issue from participating in nudism. This portrait of a young girl is not porn. She is not engaged in any sexual act. Her most private parts, though exposed, are not the focus of the portrait. She was using the pool when she saw me sketching things and offered to pose for me. I had her permission. I had her mother’s permission. And they both approved of the result, though Naomi thought I did not get the breasts right. I was given permission to share this picture, as long as I didn’t tell you the girl’s real name. It does not look enough like her so that her school friends will know that it is her if she doesn’t tell them. She is happy to now own the original, and there is really no way for you to track her down or accuse her of being an exhibitionist. There are many far more concerning pictures of girls her age on the internet and social media. It ends up simply being a work of art.

People need to see other people naked more. It gives you confidence that your naked body is no uglier than anybody else’s. It makes you feel like those naked people you are seeing are holding nothing back and are far more open and honest than the average politician. especially Senator Ted Cruz. (Special note to the world: I personally feel that Senator Ted Cruz is the one person on this Earth that you do NOT want to see naked. Not every nude body is a good thing.)

I myself regret that I waited so long to embrace nudism. I had chances as far back as age 28. But I had a traumatic experience, a childhood sexual assault, to overcome before I could ever have a positive body image. And now that I have come to a place of peace and self-acceptance, I can finally recapture some of that naked joy we all had once as a young child. Adam and Eve were supposed to be perfect in the eyes of God when they were comfortably naked in front of Him. It was only after the fall when they were wearing clothes that they were sinful.

So, now that I have not convinced you that you should become a nudist, I hope I have at least given you something to think about. And think about seriously. If you don’t believe the naked human form is a work of art, then I should warn you… don’t go into art museums and galleries.

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Filed under autobiography, battling depression, commentary, humor, nudes, Paffooney, philosophy

Re-bubbling the Old Enthusiasm

It is getting harder and harder to climb the new day’s hill to get to the summit where I can reasonably get a good look at the road ahead. At almost-64, I can see the road ahead is far shorter and much darker than the highway stretching out behind me. It is not so much a matter of how much time I have spent on the road as it is a matter of the wear and tear the mileage has caused.

This weekend I had another depressing free-book promotion where, in five days, I only moved five books, one purchase, and four free books. I have made $0.45 as an author for the month of June.

I was recently given another bit of good advice from a successful author. He said that I shouldn’t be in such a rush to publish. He suggested taking more time with my writing. Hold on to it longer. Polish it and love it more. And now that I have reached sixteen books published on my author’s page, I have basically beaten the grim reaper in the question of whether or not he was ever going to silence me and my author’s voice. I can afford to live with the next one longer.

But the last one, A Field Guide to Fauns, practically wrote itself. It went fast from inspiration to publication simply because the writer in me was on fire and full of love and life and laughter that had to boil over into hot print exactly as quickly as it did. The additional writing time afforded me by the pandemic and quarantine didn’t hurt either. Once in print, my nudist friends loved it.

This next one has the potential to boil and brew and pop out of me in the same accelerated way as that last one did. Of course, it has been percolating inside my brain basically since the Summer of 1974. So, this is no rushed job. The Wizard in his Keep is a story of a man who tries to take the children of the sister of his childhood best friend to a place of safety when their parents are killed in a car wreck. But the only safe place he has to offer is in the world of his imagination. A world he has bizarrely made real. And that best friend comes searching for the children. And so does a predator who seeks to do them all grievous harm.

In many ways, it is a story already written.

So, I am rekindling the flame that keeps the story-pot boiling. And more of it is already cooking. And I am recovering from the cool winds of disappointment, as well as the dark storm clouds of the nearing future.

This is now actually a two-year-old post. Both of the books mentioned here are published and available from Amazon. As far as holding on to the books longer, there is no problem with that on Amazon. Editing, improving, and re-publishing a book is actually easier than publishing it the first time. Nothing about this old post has been made untrue by the passage of time. I am still probably the best author of books like these whose published books almost never get read.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, battling depression, commentary, humor, novel, novel plans, Paffooney

The Darkest of the Coming Darkness


Egghead  might be slightly batty.

I do not claim to be prescient.  But like any overly smart and perceptive person, I often see what’s going to happen before it happens.  Sometimes it is almost as eerie as a Vincent Price movie.  Sometimes eerier.  After all, on the 60’s Batman TV show, Price played the ridiculous villain Egghead, and was completely creepy while doing it, but still, you know… Egghead.

One thing that I have to predict about the coming darkness is about politics.  I mean, the current Republican administration, where it is decisions by all Republicans all the time, has become nothing more than a monster movie.  Not merely a bad monster movie, but a super-creepy-bad monster movie with a gigantic orange rubber rooster as the main monster.


This is what the great orange rooster looks like in black and white.

The reason it is bad is because, basically, to become a member of the Republican Party’s elected elite, you basically have to have your heart removed.  Heartless, soulless monsters have a tendency to do things like take away Meals on Wheels for invalid seniors, health-care services from Planned Parenthood, and any hope of ever having affordable health insurance that actually pays for health care.


                                                                          Senator Ted Cruz grinning about taking away Obamacare

And now, the monsters who have taken control of the theater are pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement because… well, apparently clean air isn’t good for decaying, desiccated monster skin and shriveled monster lungs that don’t breathe air anyway.

So here are my predictions for the coming darkness.

What people like me will look like in the future.  That’s me in the middle.

I won’t live to see it.  My body is breaking down at age 60. My lungs are compromised by years of bronchitis and flu.  I am diabetic, so my very body chemistry is betraying me.  There is a family history of heart disease.  And I have already gone broke once on health care bills that the health insurance people really don’t pay for.  (They are in the business of collecting premiums, after all, not making people well.)


What a lovely oxygen-free environment we will have!

As the climate changes take away large parts of our food production and resources, and the sea rises to take away land and major cities, people will be at war increasingly over diminishing resources vital to a population of seven billion souls.  Graveyards and unburied bodies will become a part of every monster-movie scene.


Kiss me, Baby!

Love will become more complicated, because people who are selfless and put others before even their own life will die out first.  The heartless, selfish, and often stupid ones will have the best chance for survival because they put themselves ahead of everyone else, and so have an unfair advantage over those who are not content with mere survival and exhibit self-sacrificing love.


You’ve never had a friend like me.  And I can always eat you later if need be.


So, if you find my black-and-white monster movie post upsetting with the darknesses I am sincerely predicting, please remember, this is a satire post in a humor blog.  The way it is supposed to work is that you wake up to the factors that make it upsetting and decide to do something for yourself to change them.  Everybody doing a lot of the same little thing to make the world better can move mountains and fly to the moon.  Big things don’t happen without everybody taking a hand.  Maybe we can dream dreams once again and make some good things come true.



Filed under angry rant, battling depression, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, horror movie, humor, monsters

He Rose on a Golden Wing… Canto 10

Adagio in G-Minor (Albinoni)

Weeping violins were playing on Mom’s kitchen radio as she had it playing something from the classical music station in Des Moines. The announcer said something about the music being composed by a Venetian master, Tomaso Albinoni, in the 18th Century, and now being known as being synonymous with sorrow and sadness. As Valerie placed the spoons and the forks, she felt like it was the perfect background music for her entire life.

“So, Rance, be honest with me,” Mom said. “Did Val apologize to Dash for the misery she caused him at the dance?”

“Well, she made a promise to him about what she would never do again.”

“That’s not the whole truth,” said Valerie.

“Oh? Why don’t you explain your version of the conversation then,” said Uncle Rance with a smile that seemed somehow sad.

“Uncle Dash was afraid I was being like Stacey, that I was going to run away and never come back.”

“And what did you tell him about that?” Mom asked point blank.

Tim and Aunt Jen sat silently at their places at the table. They were both looking at her with unsmiling lips tightly pressed together… as if they feared the answer.

“You know what a cardinal is, right?”

“The little red song bird?”

“Yes, the bright red bird we often see in the snow around Christmastime. The one that doesn’t fly away when the winter comes? Never migrates? Never flies away from the cold, and the wind, and hard times?”

“What does that mean? That you promise not to run away from your problems?”

“Well, if a little red songbird can do it…”

Mom put her hand over her eyes. Was she crying? Had she said the wrong thing?

”Do you have any idea how much what you did probably hurt your Uncle Dash? You know he loved your Daddy very much. And he’s tried so hard to be like a father to you since…” A sob caught in Mom’s throat.

“She told Dash that she didn’t blame him. She blamed herself.” Uncle Rance had no right to say that part out loud. But… she couldn’t say it herself. Not after shouting it in front of Charlotte and the whole world. Why didn’t they just talk about it all behind her back like normal parents do?

“Did you know that Tim kissed Dilsey on his date? Did he tell you that?” She knew that one wasn’t hers to tell. But she needed to change the topic. Needed it desperately. She could always apologize to the king of brats later.

Tim was grinning at that.

“Is it true?” Aunt Jen asked, smiling for the first time in a while.

“How did you know that, Val?” Tim asked.

“Dilsey told me.”

“Was she bragging… or complaining?”

“What do you think, Lothario?”

“More like Romeo, I think.”

“I hope you didn’t do something you didn’t have her permission to do,” said Uncle Rance.

“You know, Val, I wasn’t done with the other topic yet,” said Mom.

“What topic would that be?”

“You are not the only one who was devastated by what your father did.”

“I know that, Mom. I was here when we lived through all of that… more than once, I think.”

She hadn’t taken the hand away from her eyes since she first put it there.

“I love you, Val. You know that, right?”

“I love you too, Mom.”

“And you know I worry about the fact that suicide might run in families… I’ve thought about it. And I am afraid you have too. Can you…?”

“Promise you?”


“I can’t. But I am like the cardinal, Mom. And suicide is a form of running away.”

At that point, nobody had dry eyes but Valerie.

“I… I want you to write the thing about cardinals down for me, Val. I need that in writing.”

All Val could do was nod, or she would be bawling too.

“Well, now that we have all ruined our appetites, maybe we should think about actually eating something,” said Uncle Rance with a soft chuckle and tears still in his eyes.

The dinner changed into a rather quiet discussion about more normal family things, and Dilsey and Tim’s first kiss. And, sporadically, some roast beef and mashed potatoes was eaten too.

Later, as the Kelloggs were leaving, Tim stood in front of Valerie at the door. Tears glistened in his eyes again.

“You know, Val, I really liked the cardinal thing too. Blueberry is in the hospital. One of my Pirates is very ill.”

“Dilsey told me about that too.”

“Did she tell you we need to visit her? There are hard winter times coming our way there too.”

“We’ll be there for her, I promise.”

She wrapped him in a hug then. The first time in a very long time. He didn’t resist. If anything, he was hugging her back.

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Filed under battling depression, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney