Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Why I Love TV Detective Bobby Goren

During these trying times, many people are facing the music head-on by watching and reading pandemic stories. Not me. Sarah Jessica Parker, if you follow her on Instagram, is cuddling up with Columbo. I'm more of an SJP. Delicate, highly-strung, like most thoroughbreds. 

I need my Bobby Goren. 

the Bear

Everybody needs a Bear
to stand on hind legs and broad shoulders between your abuser
and your frantically beeping heart monitor

His broad shoulders just are
and your heart beat slows down, beep, beat, beep, beat 

I don’t mind giving up my tiny person
to his great one standing 
his wide body like a mountain
it’s good fung shui to have a mountain at your back

He tells the victim, “This guy, he’s dead. He pulled a gun on my partner and she shot him, poof! Just like that!”

Eames nods seriously
She’s senior Major Case though she is less than half his size
Rocky and Bullwinkle
I got Detective Eames in the online quiz
I pay my bills the day I get them and, 
she’s the bourbon, like me

I have my own dance that I do to the theme music
I mimic Bobby’s hand gestures
his big hands like loaves of bread
as he holds them out over the crime scene like a frame
I try to tilt my head to one side to imitate
that thing that he does with his neck
to catch criminals in a lie

He helped that teenager 
when that guy with the Bonanza theme on his phone kidnapped her; 
she drew his tiger tattoo from memory, 
every stripe, every number, 
and Bobby told him,
“You raped her body, you raped her mind,

Bobby knew that little boy didn’t want to be a genius
he just wanted to play baseball
and that other boy who loved cars
more than he loved his father
and the one who thought he was royalty
and the one who was extra, who taught himself everything he knew
Bobby said, “Someone to teach you how to ride a bike. Two people who think you’re kind of special. No one should have to get by with less.” 
ADA Carver replied, “Lots of people do.” 
Bobby answered, “They shouldn’t have to.”

And the man who was shot on the last street in Manhattan, 
the one who wanted to cover Staten Island in marigolds?
No, they wouldn’t let him do that. They killed him.

Bobby learned Chinese in China and
German in Germany
I know he’s part Sherlock Holmes
and part Columbo
He’s read Proust, said it picks up after the second million pages
his mother is Rita Moreno, his father a serial killer
His story could only happen in New York
the fact that he freaked out in real life
makes it all seem more real
makes every moment more precious

I put up with Logan, Wheeler, Stevens and Nichols, sigh
They’re just not the real thing
I just need to see Bobby
I just need to see Bobby

Then I’m okay

It’s empowering when I toss my shoulders and swing my arms to the theme 
as the team walks toward me
Deep down, I don’t think I know they’re actors
I don’t care

I need the Bear

©Patricia Goodwin, 2020

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Nostradamus Says, “Wash Your Hands!” and “Don’t Eat Meat!”


When my daughter first went to school, I asked her many questions about her first day, including if the teacher had led them down to the bathroom to wash their hands before lunch.

She looked at me as though I had just suggested something very weird, like did they all jump off the roof?

“No,” she said.

“No!” My turn to be astonished. “You didn’t wash your hands before lunch? How about after lunch?”


I felt like a very fussy old lady who’d been taught by a bunch of other fussy old ladies. (That could be true. But, fussy old ladies are often right.)

I have recalled this incident several times during the news about the coronavirus. I know that children are doing very well with the illness because they are exposed to so many germs every day that their immune systems have responded to that exposure by getting stronger. Yes, they are getting well faster than other more vulnerable groups like the sick and the elderly. But, generally speaking, they do get sick a lot! My daughter was never sick until she started school. Then, she got sick every few weeks from something that was going around the classroom. 

Of course, she also got well. Often, not easily. A few times, I slept with my face on her bed to listen to her breathing. I wiped her brow with a cold face cloth, her neck, the inside of her elbows, to reduce fever. Of course, I used medicine too. And diet. As a practicing macrobiotic, my child has been macrobiotic since before birth. We ate and still eat very simply at home: brown rice, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, occasionally fish when good quality fish can be found. When she was sick, I fed her simple, clean foods to get her well and strong, usually brown rice and veggies, and fruit.

But, why is this article titled “Nostradamus Says Wash Your Hands and Don’t Eat Meat?”

Nostradamus, besides being a prophet, was also a renown physician. Born in 1503, in France, the son of a grain merchant, Nostradamus was well educated in both Hebrew and Christian religions as well as Latin, Greek, astronomy and mathematics. At the age of 14, he entered medical school at Avignon where he pretended to learn all the wrong things in order to pass. As the son of a grain merchant, I like to think Nostradamus had a background in good quality food and cooking. He certainly had strong common sense. Nostradamus couldn’t hang around medical school and wait for his degree; he had to get out there - medieval France and Italy - and cure the Bubonic Plague. Nostradamus cured the Bubonic Plague, which had originated from flea bites from flea infested rats, using hygiene: he burned the infected clothing and bedding of plague victims; he encouraged them to wash and keep themselves clean at a time when washing was thought to be dangerous - one’s skin could fall off! He also used immune-strengthening Vitamin C that he had garnered from rose hips; he made his own rose pills and preserves. In order to keep their blood clean, Nostradamus advised his patients to not eat anything unclean, which in those days was a Biblical reference to animal food, that is, meat or anything coming from an animal, such as eggs or dairy. Lastly, and this is vital, plenty of fresh air!

PETA published an important letter today from their Australian Director saying this: 

“The virus, an anagram of carnivorous, appears to have emerged from a fish market that was also selling wild animals such as beavers, porcupines and snakes in the city of Wuhan, in central China. The 2002-2003 SARS pandemic was similarly traced to civet cats. In these markets, urine, faeces and other bodily fluids from live, wild animals end up mixing with blood from butchered ones, providing ideal breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria.

Overwhelmingly, human diseases start with the abuse of animals. Hunting and the appropriation of animals’ habitats has led to diseases such as Hendra and Ebola. The 2009 H1N1 epidemic started in pigs. Measles originally came from cattle, and whooping cough from dogs.” 

And what about that recommendation of fresh air? I can’t help thinking after stories of some of the quarantine situations I’ve read about - including a room in Vietnam that had no running water and no toilet - cruise ships, isolation rooms, army tents, that people being held together, sick and not sick, breathing the same stale, circulating air are just getting more and more sick. One passenger of a docked cruise ship said, “We’re sitting in a petrie dish.”

I mean, Nostradamus was curing the plague in 1536! He was telling people to wash their hands nearly 500 years ago! In Vienna, almost 400 years later, Dr. Semmelweis  couldn’t get doctors to wash their hands after examining cadavers - before they put these filthy hands up inside of women who’d just given birth. The doctors said, “Why wash our hands, they’re just going to get dirty again!” 

Dr. Semmelweis suspected that the death rate for childbirth in his hospital was being exasperated by infection from the examining doctors’ germ-ridded hands. After all, the midwives, who washed their hands frequently, did not have such a high infection and death rate among their new mothers. No one would listen to Dr. Semmelweis who died of the very infection he spent his life trying to prevent.

We are also vulnerable during this time from infections that occur only in hospitals that are resistant to any known antibiotics - resistant, ironically, back to PETA’s warning - because we consume animal products from animals that have been fed so many antibiotics every day, the bacteria become resistant. Why are these animals - usually cows, pigs and chickens - fed antibiotics? Because they live in filthy unnatural conditions with little or no fresh air, often in feces and urine, a veritable disease soup.

Recently, on the PBS talk show Greater Boston, an informative gem readily available to us online and on TV, Stephanie Leydon, WGBH News, talked about super bugs mutating and becoming resistant to drugs, saying, “100 years ago during the Spanish flu outbreak, it wasn’t the flu itself that caused most deaths, but bacterial infections.” https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2020/03/11/coronavirus-surprised-the-world-but-doctors-have-been-sounding-the-alarm-on-another-global-health-threat-for-years

And, here we are. 

There are many sites for information on the coronavirus, much of it erroneous, so I’m going to advise going to the CDC for all coronavirus questions. I cannot speak to you as a medical professional, so I’m going to speak as a mother and as a friend.

We all wash our hands at home. We take off our shoes when we come in the door. I wash my hands whenever I touch something from the outside and before (and after) I touch food. 

The Triangle of Good Health: Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise has always been a basic part of my life and it’s so simple, though not always easy to implement. Often, we can’t get the sleep we need, nor do we have time to exercise. However, nutrition should never be allowed to slacken. Here is a good base for every day nutrition: the Healthy Plate:

Though recently re-emerged from Harvard, this simple plate has been with me since elementary school. I have, since then, updated my protein from meat to a healthy vegetable protein of beans, or occasional good quality fish. (Our fish supply has also been usurped by factory farms, so it is not as easy to find good fish as it used to be. Be careful: good fish looks good and smells fresh and clean; its edges are moist, not dry and curled; it smells sweet, not fishy; the flesh is white, not yellow or rubbery.)

Other sources for good healthy choices are:

Denny Waxman's Up-coming Macrobiotic Lecture on the Macrobiotic Approach to the Coronavirus, sign-up link, $10 suggested donation (I am not affiliated with this program, nor do I profit from it, except by knowing I’ve given you the info!) 

Allen Campbell: Nutrition Studies Allen Campbell was Tom Brady's nutrition coach and chef. His advice on non-inflammatory foods has helped me a great deal with any occasional pain.

Please do your best and stay well and happy! And remember what Nostradamus says, "Wash Your Hands!" and "Don't Eat Meat!"

Edward Esko live online lecture on Coronavirus.

©Patricia Goodwin, 2020

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.

Within this blog, Patricia writes often about non-fiction subjects that inspire or disturb her, hopefully informing and inspiring people to be happy, healthy and free.

***Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant to substitute for medical care. Please consult your physician before beginning any new dietary guidelines.