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So in trying to join the new millennium, I decided to give this blog a go many months ago. Alas, my schedule did not allow for much time to consider this enterprise other than saying, “Sure! How hard could it be?” Fast forward almost a year later and well, here it is. This is meant simply to be a place to put observations about life and work in the psychiatric field, mixed in with comments about interesting articles I have stumbled on. It’s a way to laugh at life, and not take oneself so seriously. And, it’s food for thought. Mine and/or yours. I am sure it will evolve, as everything seems to do.

I get most of my medical information these days from The Wall Street Journal. A lot of interesting and relevant sort of stuff. Tuesday, November 17, 2009, Personal Journal had 2 “opposite end of the spectrum” entries. The first, “When Mr. Clean Meets Ms. Messy” is a laugh, sobering though it is, about the nature of relationships, and the passive-aggressive stances some people get into when centered around clutter and cleanliness. Talk about being unable to change a person! Not to mention the feeling of helplessness about a partner that is mis-matched on the other end of the messiness spectrum. Although it may give additional work to my colleagues, it seems more to be a ticking time bomb. It is hard to imagine living like that.

The other, “A Key to Unlocking Memories” is more scientific in nature about the effects of music on memory. Listening to oldies, sing-alongs with old standards that everyone seems to know often, can help a person’s memory, even Alzheimer’s patients that have trouble remembering their spouses. Think back to the craze of Mozart music before taking tests, and you may remember (if you recently listened to music) that IQ scores are raised as well test performances. The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function is trying to get playlists for Alzheimer’s patients identified so relatives can download them onto ipods and play them for “therapy”. Music also has a tremendous effect on mood and has been claimed to “soothe the savage beast”. Take my job away? I dunno. We all can point to certain songs that evoke powerful memories or strong feelings. It’s something to think about—this complicated and engmatic brain of ours. No wonder so many people sing in the shower, or in the car!

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