This is a Hobby Site, Folks

Granted, there may come a time (and it may not be far off) when I slap an ad for an underperforming print-on-demand shop up in the sidebar, but this site is primarily a hobby for me. I enjoy writing. I enjoy taking pictures and drawing things. I enjoy building–and, sometimes, breaking–sites. I’m just a grown-up version of the kid who enjoyed making fake, hand-drawn, hand-written magazines with the kid next door… but with much better, much more public tools.

Beyond putting my URL on my social media profile, sharing post links with my wife, and occasionally sharing them on Twitter, I don’t want to promote this site. I actually get a bit squicked out when I realize that other people have looked at it, so I’m certainly not your target market for paid promotion.

I’m also not your target market for design services, paid or otherwise. Go back to that bit where I like drawing things. My tools have graduated from a no. 2 pencil on lined notebook paper to an Apple Pencil in Affinity Designer, and–even if my skills aren’t up to snuff–I also enjoy the learning process.

(If you want to teach me about designing my site, we may have something to talk about!)

Seriously, though, does anyone out there think I’m willing to pay for promotion or design services just so I can reach as many people as possible with photos of my new shoes and random public art? No? How about bad poetry, simple drawings, personal writings, and waxing nostalgic about baseball?

Still no go? Then we’re on the same page.

Your calls and email are fruitless.

And your targeting needs an overhaul.

A Little Love for adidas

adidas Alphabounce EM in core black/running white/utility black.
Desktop octopus not included.


This is my sixth pair of adidas Alphabounce, and the pair I will probably wear for jury duty next month.

Samusumi isn’t on the verge of becoming a shoe blog, but the Alphabounce line is the only shoe line I’ve found in recent years that doesn’t cause problems for my feet.

After years of shoe changes and orthotics, Alphabounce even allowed me to forget my plantar fasciitis!

Thanks adidas! Much <3!

A Shout Out to Rosa M. and Brea’s Art in Public Places

The things you see on the way to the vet…
at least when your vet’s in Brea:

I don’t know who Rosa M. is, but I love her art on display in this bus shelter near the intersection of State College and Birch in Brea, CA!

For more info, visit the Brea Museum & Historical Society’s page on Brea’s Art in Public Places

I Have Hashimoto’s

My doctor(s) and I have been at odds for years—since early 2016—regarding my hypothyroid state and whether or not it should be treated. If you’re accustomed to searching the internet for thyroid-related information, you probably expect this to be a post about how my thyroid hormone levels are in the “normal” range, but that I still have symptoms, and how I think I should be taking—or upping my dose of—generic levothyroxine or Synthroid specifically or natural dessicated thyroid.

If so, your expectations are wrong.

I’m asymptomatic for hypothyroidism; my thyroid hormone levels aren’t horrible, but my free T4 and TSH levels aren’t normal, either; I’m afraid to take levothyroxine again, due to past experience (which actually was horrible); I don’t see the benefit of taking it, given my heart rate and energy levels; and my doctors want me to take it, anyway

I finally saw an endocrinologist for the first time—no mean feat, given that I was diagnosed with diabetes way back in 2004—a few months ago. I was in a big way of complaining—half-way to panic, because the whole arguing-with-people-who-know-more-than-I-do shtick is stressful as hell—about how I don’t even know if have Hashimoto’s or some other root cause, when the endo apologized.

She thought I’d been tested for Hashimoto’s before I was referred to her.

Well, now I have.

I went for a blood draw on the 7th of this month, and the results showed up in my online chart the same day.

My anti-TPO antibody level was 687 IU/mL, with a reference range of <9.

You may think that’s a bad thing, but you’d be wrong about that, too.

Sure, not having Hashimoto’s disease is preferable to having Hashimoto’s disease. But being hypothyroid with atypical presentation while not knowing what’s causing it is worse than being hypothyroid with atypical presentation and having the explanatory data.

Knowledge is power, y’all.

And, in this case, it’s peace of mind.

Ask questions when you’re uncertain.

And keep asking until you get answers.

The Murder of Violet Gold

This was written in 2014. I don’t remember the context. I suspect my motivation was something like “Hey! I want to write something that rhymes!”

The Murder of Violet Gold

It all comes down to what you might believe,
If someone were to speak at the right time,
A nudge to help your stricken mind conceive
A notion which I think you’ll find sublime:
That which you thought you saw was never real.
A trick of light, at best. Madness, at worst.
Synaptic firing line shot to conceal
The truth of what you saw tonight, immersed,
As we both were, in horror as she dripped
Her ruby blood upon the kitchen floor.
In anguish as our dear, sweet friend fast-slipped,
With screams and shock, the threshold of death’s door.
It was not I who held the bloody blade!
The killer must have been our dear friend’s maid!

The killer must have been our dear friend’s maid!
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again:
She hated how our lovely friend displayed
The wealth she’d earned through labor, sweat, and pain!
While she, herself, had nothing much to show
For all the years she’s given Mrs. Gold.
She doesn’t even have a home, you know?
She has no car to drive, nor hand to hold!
It’s her, I’m sure, with whom the blame must lay.
For who else here would kill sweet Violet?
And though I’ll justify it in no way —
The mistress stabbed and killed by her own pet —
It’s not so hard to see how envy bleeds
When work alone won’t meet one’s basic needs!

When work alone won’t meet one’s basic needs!
We’ve all been there, now, haven’t we, old pal?
While every dream she dares to dream succeeds.
Hey, who could help but envy that old gal?
It isn’t disrespect! It’s said with love!
You know she’s had my heart since we were young!
And no, those are not blood drops on my glove!
You keep your peace unless you’d see me hung!
I loved her near as much as I love you!
It’s not the sort of love that money buys.
And, dearest friend, I know what we should do.
You must believe my words and not your eyes.
For when you think about the wealth we’ve got,
It’s plain to see we blame the one who’s not.

Downtown Development (Sapphic Stanza)

Ugly cars with rusted-out bodies park here,
Underneath the flowering plums and maples,
Staid beside our manicured, landscaped greenway,
Sharing the sidewalk

Maple boards with thundering wheels break peaces
Gravely spanning chasms between the burdens
Built on wine and barbecue by the fireplace,
Burning through nightfall

Iron gates with delicate motors hum here,
Gliding shut and opening when we bid them,
Boasting signs to terminate rights of passage,
Locking out friendship

Kaküno Sapphic Stanza

Pilot Kaküno fountain pen with Lewis Putnam Turco's The Book of Forms
Pilot Kaküno fountain pen with Lewis Putnam Turco’s The Book of Forms. Yes, this pen was designed for children. No, the book was not.

Last week, I treated myself1 to a copy of the revised and expanded edition of Lewis Putnam Turco’s The Book of Forms2. Yesterday, while at Mitsuwa Marketplace3 in Costa Mesa, my wife treated me to a Pilot Kaküno4 fountain pen.

These two treats go well together.

I’ve reached the part of Turco’s book which introduces the Sapphic line and the Sapphic stanza5, and because I want to actually learn the material in the book, as opposed to just digesting it, I’ll be spending at least a few days taking winky-nibbed stabs at Sapphic stanzas.

If you’re reading this, I hope you’ll forgive me.

I’m comfortable with iambs6. Trochees7 and dactyls8 feel awkward and weird. “da-DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-DA”9 makes perfect sense to me. “DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-da-WTF-DA-da-Da-da” not so much. (That “WTF” always, always follows the dactyl. Always.) My archetypal drummer keeps dropping her sticks, and I don’t particularly like the sound of it.

But I do like that fountain pen!

And, since the pen was in my hand when I started writing…

Pilot Kaküno with handwritten sample of “Kaküno Sapphic Stanza”. If you look closely, you can see the smiley face on the nib.

Kaküno Sapphic Stanza

Fountain flows of ebony staining paper
Winking, smiling up from its steely shoulders
Lilac, white and metal in pudgy fingers
Piloting verses

Here’s to the concept that practice makes… well, at least better.


Notes

  1. Lewis Putnam Turco’s The Book of Forms. Samusumi.com. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://samusumi.com/2018/05/10/lewis-putnam-turcos-the-book-of-forms/
  2. UPNE – The Book of Forms: Lewis Putnam Turco. University Press of New England. Accessed 15 May 2018. http://www.upne.com/1611680355.html
  3. Mitsuwa. One of several Japanese markets in Orange County. Accessed 15 May 2018. chttp://www.mitsuwa.com/
  4. Pilot Kaküno. Pilot.co.jp. Accessed 15 May 2018. http://www.pilot.co.jp/products/pen/fountain/fountain/kakuno/
  5. “Sapphic stanza”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapphic_stanza
  6. “Iamb (poetry)”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iamb_(poetry)
  7. “Trochee”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trochee
  8. “Dactyl (poetry)”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dactyl_(poetry)
  9. “Iambic pentameter”. Wikipedia. Accessed 15 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iambic_pentameter