Ink Stains and Photos

A story lover's memoirs and photo blog. :-) #Dumaguete #Manila #StreetPhotography #Psychiatry #PopCulture

Video: “Like a Stone”

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Chris Cornell.

A friend of mine gave me my first taste of his music years ago. When I first listened to this song,  my first thought, “Wow…there is so much pain…”

News articles say that he killed himself by hanging, after years of dealing with substance abuse and anxiety disorder.

(There goes another one…I find it very tragic every time. )

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Like a Stone
On a cobweb afternoon
In a room full of emptiness
By a freeway I confess
I was lost in the pages
Of a book full of death
Reading how we’ll die alone
And if we’re good, we’ll lay to rest
Anywhere we want to go
In your house I long to be
Room by room patiently
I’ll wait for you there
Like a stone
I’ll wait for you there
Alone
On my deathbed I will pray
To the gods and the angels
Like a pagan to anyone
Who will take me to heaven
To a place I recall
I was there so long ago
The sky was bruised
The wine was bled
And there you led me on
In your house I long to be
Room by room patiently
I’ll wait for you there
Like a stone
I’ll wait for you there
Alone
Alone
And on


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On Beards and Manbuns

 Very recently, I’ve developed “an extremely strong desire to mentally consume” all episodes of this small screen/ Netflix wonder (read: I binge-watch these episodes in my spare time, with my father occasionally joining to watch. )

It simply cannot be helped. The large-scale production of a historical drama, with larger-than-life characters, created by the legendary Michael Hirst is a compelling show to watch. He is the sole writer for the show, and allegedly, to up the excitement factor new scripts come out every two weeks for the actors, and they never know what to expect.

The characters have great chemistry, and the actors are very easy on the eyes (aside from the fact that they are good actors, of course.).  My initial favorite,was of course, Ragnar Lothbrok (played by erstwhile Calvin Klein model, Travis Fimmel) and now, heavily favored is the very strong “crippled Viking” character, Ivar the Boneless , who is portrayed by Alex Hogh Andersen.

vikings

Photo from Pikenight.com

Like any full-blooded female, I am partial to strong male characters on TV,  but these two characters were so well-crafted and well-played that they actually made me dissociate pleasantly and had me thinking that they might actually be real vikings in their past lives. I kid you not. 🙂

Ragnar is bold, adventurous and curious…enough to defy his earl and go wandering off West, even when he was explicitly told not to. Also, as a bonus he has this leering look and twitching of his eye that seems to emphasize his points. You really have to admire the man, he was ahead of his time, and his nearly insatiable thirst for “the new worlds to explore” made him a standout indeed. He had that fire in his eyes, a charisma, which everyone saw, because they all followed him unquestioningly.

(Maybe he was a visionary in those Dark Ages…but really, the show was only based on The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, an old Viking tale handed down from generations through storytelling, too diluted to be even considered as real, accurate history. )

Nevertheless, it made for very entertaining viewing. My father loves it for the swordfights and battle scenes, I myself, love it for the relationship drama and the internal and external conflicts of the characters. #Priorities. 🙂

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Lagertha, the shield maiden, is also a favorite character, as she is a…well, a Badass female, way ahead of her time. She could handle herself in a brawl…and still have time for her kids, AND was brave enough to pack up her bags and divorce her philandering husband publicly, without fear of the unknown. Also, I might add, she never looked back. Sure, she may have seemed to love such a powerful man with all her heart, but in the end, she could not bear to be humiliated by his philandering ways, and she opted instead to just break it off with him anyway.

(She never settled, and became Earl in her own right…winning battles and commanding men.)

always-be-yourself-lagertha

🙂 Really, this is just the gist of it all, and I am merely writing out the things that I like about this show. There are several articles on the show, and I think this one here is more congruent with real Viking History. 🙂

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Perhaps since I am infinitely curious about people’s character and how they think, my current favorite would have to be one of Ragnar’s sons,  Ivar the Boneless, played by Alex Hogh Andersen. This character was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta ( and was nearly killed by his own father) and had an anger management problem that drove him to be one of the most notorious Viking conquerors of Western Europe, so to speak.  (AH fun. All the internal conflicts there!) He was also, allegedly, very smart…and cunningly genius war strategist as well…and despite the fact that he could not walk, legacy stories about him were telling about how “stood higher than many men in the battlefield.”

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Speculations about his condition abound, of course, but we really have no way of knowing for sure, because all this data is being extrapolated from the recounted histories, and very old Viking records from the 10th century that were recorded by the monks and the priests of Christianity.

alex  However, it is not a bad thing at all that Alex Hogh Andersen is playing Ivar. No, not at all…especially since he also takes photos in his spare time, in real life (which I think is pretty cool, of course!). haha. not at all.  🙂

Don’t take my word for it, though… try to watch it yourself. If you like stories and characters like I do, then this series is for you. 🙂

(And this concludes my extra-curricular writing blogging activity. 🙂 )

So, enjoy! Because I definitely did,beards,manbuns and all.) 🙂


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Talk therapy and Tony Soprano

The Sopranos: The patient and the therapist (www.today.com)

The Sopranos: The patient and the therapist (www.today.com)

“I love you.”

“I dream about you…I think about you all the time.

“I’m in love with you…That’s just the way it is.”

This was Tony Soprano’s little speech to his psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi. This was in Season 1 of “The Sopranos” where he had started going for psychotherapy after having panic attacks “out of the blue”.  She, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, had started him on Prozac, and was his listening ear during his regularly-scheduled Tuesday appointments.

After his declaration, she had to let him down easy, and explain to him that the probable reason why he was “in love” with her  was so was because she, like his Mother/Wife/Daughter, was an Italian woman, but the difference was that she had been understanding, compassionate and listened to all that he had to say. She accepted him unconditionally, which made the big difference there.  (Although she is not what you would call “the ideal” therapist. She obviously had problems being objective sometimes, and was too empathetic sometimes.)

—-

I’ve been watching The Sopranos episode by episode these past few days, upon the recommendation of a good friend. He had told me years before of the series, and I had never taken him up on the suggestion until now (I’ve had these files in my hard drive for years.).

So, why now? Well, after I started on one, I could not help but move on to the next…I was hooked. 🙂 I was told that it would really help me with my “psychotherapy skills”, but actually, I think he was just a big Mafia fan, and loved the character.

Ah, Tony Soprano…he was larger-than-life, an anti-hero with a ball-busting mother issue,  who was doomed to be a gangster because it was the only way of life he knew. Despite his shortcomings, he had a big heart and was undeniably loyal to those he loved (and “honor and family, and loyalty”).

The “internal turmoil” and the conflicts that he could not freely talk about (until he had a psychiatrist to help him sort them out) and presented as physical and psychiatric symptoms, and they were very interesting to watch. Also the interactions between patient and therapist were very riveting…she wasn’t afraid to confront him, and he reacted accordingly, as the textbooks said.

Confrontation. (denofgeek.com)

Confrontation. (denofgeek.com)

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Now, I have gotten many “I love you’s” in the course of my training in Psychiatry, and I was very careful about things going “violent” during confrontations, but I have never had any “fights” with patients and their families. I’ve never had any death threats…(not that I would want to). That is to be expected in practice, especially when you’re doing psychotherapy, but I haven’t seen it yet during the psychotherapy sessions that I’ve done so far.

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An interesting bit I’ve read in the Jeffrey Kottler book, ” On Being A Therapist”,

“Conquering a therapist is the ultimate victory, proof that anyone can be corrupted. It is a way in which the client can regain control of the relationship and win power and approval. It satisfies the desire to flirt with the forbidden, and it gives the client a means to frustrate the therapist just as she has been frustrated by the therapeutic experience.”

The therapist’s efforts to confront the client regarding the seductive behavior often lead to frustration. If the feelings are discussed directly and the therapist gently yet firmly rejects the overtures,the client might feel humiliated and rejected.

If the transference feelings are interpreted, the client may fall back in denial. Yet, if the therapist attempts to back off and let things ride for a while, the seductive efforts may escalate.

There is no easy solution.

It’s pretty much like…dancing with a partner, but you’re doing it objectively. It’s not always asking ‘How do you feel?”, but actually, it’s a mix of different techniques and guided questions (something that can’t be talked about in one blog entry…because it is so vast a topic, and so interesting too).

🙂

—-

Love,

S.

P.S. The Psychiatry part is not the only interesting part…the quips about psychiatry, the scenes, and the dialogue between the quirky mafia men makes it so much fun.


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On serenades

I saw an episode of the semi-finals of The Voice (US) and Sawyer Frederick’s version of this song made me feel…nice inside. Granted, he’s a good-looking guy with a guitar, but I could not deny that I felt an irrepressible urge to play it just a few more times to “savor” the “eeek” feeling inside.

A couple of Valentines’ Day’s ago, I got a surprise serenade from someone , and they sang this song. I eventually found out later who it was…but that’s not the point of this entry. 🙂 I just wanted to remember this one fond memory of a song played just for me. And only me.

Oh, and I just found out that a friend of mine had saved this video of me during that serenade. The guys with the guitar are frat neophytes who go around the hospital serenading the ladies (and gents) for their admirers who paid the fee.  All in good fun.

P.S.  More happy-making music. I love this one too… So polished, simple and easy…