Saturday, February 04, 2006

I've moved

Yup, Blogger done buggered me one too many times. Come visit me at For the time being, it will look bare-bones over there, but that will change. Update your links, folks. No telling when I might crash this place AGAIN. D.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My glamorous profession

Warning: don't read this on a full stomach. Did I ever mention that Alec Baldwin watched me to get into character for the movie Malice? It's true. And for my end-of-residency roast, I did a little stand-up comedy for my fellow residents and my attending physicians, wherein I showed this video clip from Malice: You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God. Stop video clip. Lights back on me. I'm shaking my head slowly, my mouth agape. Then, I say: It's uncanny. That is so . . . ME. Ah, well. You had to be there. Truth is, if we're playing God, then God has one messy, messy job. You know what I do more than anything else? I mean, as a simple percentage of time spent? I dig out ear wax. But that's not the messiest thing I do. I'm a PusBuster. Pus is one of the main reasons I'm late blogging today. That, and my son talked me into playing two games of chess with him, and of course I had to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. In residency, I owned a tiny brown bottle full of oil of wintergreen. When it comes to pus, oil of wintergreen is your best friend. Schmear a bit of it under your nose and everything smells wonderful, even gangrene. Well, maybe not gangrene. Somewhere along the way, I lost my little brown bottle. Could have used it last week -- that pus shot two-and-a-half feet across the room. Thank heavens I wasn't in its path. My nurse, a woman in her mid-sixties, said that was the worst thing she'd ever smelled. For a nurse (especially one in her mid-sixties!) that's really saying something. I'm not complaining. I like busting pus, just as I like cleaning ear wax. Nothing satisfies quite like a good spill of the yellow poo or a big fat plug of the brown-and-hairy. These are some of the happiest patients: in the case of pus, they usually experience a rapid resolution of their pain and pressure symptoms; with ear wax, they can hear again. I've been hugged more than a few times. If I thought about complaining even for a moment, I would force myself to remember my comrades in general surgery, who regularly pull beer cans, beer bottles, and baseballs from people's rectums; my comrades in urology, who remove bobby pins and other delightful items from people's urethras; and my comrades in gynecology, who sometimes have to explain to their patients that, no, tampons do not dissolve, and it's a bad idea to stuff one in after the other. See? I have it easy. Only the eye docs have it better. We're medieval barbers, that's all we are. Sometimes I try to explain that to my patients. Usually, I stop myself before they get that glazed, wide-eyed look. D. PS: Here's the US Military's latest recruiting video (NOT). Hat tip to Daily Kos for linking to this biting satire.

We have a winner!

Shelbi wins the drawing. Congratulations! Thank you, all of you who played. That was a delightful bit of self-stroking for me. If you missed out, don't feel bad -- I'll have another contest in April when I hit the one year mark. Shelbi, email me at azureus at harborside (dot) com, and send me your snail mail addie. If you would rather have a gift certificate than Borges's Collected Fictions, let me know. Thanks again, everyone. D.

Thirteen Dreams

Thirteen Dreams from Doug Tales from the other third of my life (Other people's dreams are boring as hell. Let's see if I can make this work.)
1. The earliest dream I can recall: a pixie lives in my closet, and she alerts me to her presence by playing on a tiny piano. She leads me into a room I had never seen, sunlit, full of toys, a world of safety and beauty. 2. My grandfather (he of the surgically removed horns, and the monkey in the attic) and I travel to the moon. It's so small, I could walk around it in a matter of minutes. I jump higher and higher in the low gravity while my grandfather scratches his bald head and mumbles in Yiddish. 3. Late at night, my parents talk quietly near the gas range. All the burners are on, not a pot in sight. "With all of your problems," my father says, "it's a wonder you're not dead." My mother falls to the kitchen floor, unconscious. (What can I say -- she was a bit of a hypochondriac.) 4. I'm in a car with my brother and sister, and we're pulling away from a home construction site. We leave my mother behind. She wants to give me some food -- a Hershey's chocolate bar, no doubt -- and she runs after the car, holding it out for me to grab. She can't catch up. That one recurred, haunting me for years for reasons I still don't understand. 5. I've had insomnia for as long as I can recall. I used to tell myself stories to pass the hour or two it would take to get to sleep. Sometimes, it's difficult to know the difference between a remembered dream or one of those stories. In one, I'm a secret agent, poisoning Hitler's carrot patch. 6. A woman wakes up in the night to an empty bed. She calls out for her husband, but no one answers. In a panic, she runs outside, calling his name. Terror surges; she passes out in the driveway. She wakes up the following morning in her own bed, and does not realize that the experience hours earlier was a waking dream. This is not my dream. 7. A woman watches a chef boil a lobster. The lobster screams as it is lowered into the pot. He takes it out and removes its limbs, one by one. This is not my dream, either. 8. I am amazed at how readily dreams can reprogram decades of memory. In one recurring dream with many variations, I'm back in that state of loneliness I lived in before meeting Karen. A girl or woman (depending upon how old I am in the dream) lets me know she's interested in me. Together, we take the first step. 9. Oh, lordy, the student's dream. My favorite remains the one in which I'm late to the final, but I still have 20 or 30 minutes left. I look at the first question, then the second, then the third. Each and every question is nonsensical -- essay questions with numerical answers, mathematical equations with multiple choices covering the gamut from "honesty" to "betrayal." 10. I'm peeing, and I lose control of my aim. Soon, the ceiling and the walls are dripping in urine. 11. My teeth fall out. 12. I'm in a crashing plane, or a car attacked by gunmen, and in a last minute restoration of faith, I recite the Shema. 13. And then there's the one about the malt shop -- you know the kind, red-cushioned spinning stools beside a long, gleaming countertop. Twelve cheerleaders, sweaty from their last workout, sit atop the stools. They are a Godiva Deluxe Assortment of ethnicities, they are all beautiful, and none of them are wearing underwear. Oh, wait. That's a fantasy, not a dream. My dreams are never that much fun.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. D. Challener Roe 2. Kate Rothwell 3. Write from Karen 4. Jona

5. Sapphire Writer 6. Amanda's 13 Favorite Movies

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

With apologies to vampire bats

So President Bush is worried about human-animal chimerae: Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research, human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator -- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale. Well, Mr. Bush, aside from the fact that such a law would prevent the cloning of human genes into bacterial or viral vectors, thus crippling biomedical research for decades to come, I think you should clean house before implementing such a policy. You may begin with your Vice President. D.

Quickie poll

Don't forget the Number 500 Giveaway! I hope to see several more entries before the evening is over.
I'm happy -- not about the state of the world, of course, but about my trilogy. In the last few hours, I did a bit of cosmetic surgery on the first novel, and the current word count stands at just under 90,000 words. Ideal! Not only that, but this first novel is one tight sumbitch, and I think anyone who finished it would have to buy the next book. But that's just me. I'm chucking the working title (The Brakan Correspondent) because it put the main character's father front and center. I want to keep Cree (the correspondent's daughter) center stage. All of the titles below refer to her, although they also have double meanings that spread to a few of the other characters as well. Tell me whether any one of these grabs your eye better than its neighbors: Nest Out of the Nest Fallen from the Nest Fledge Fledgling Thanks! D.

Funny thing is

I own a Miata, which is almost the spittin' image of this car (except for color).

I'm a Honda S2000!

You live on the edge, and you live for the adrenaline rush. You don't need luxuries, snob appeal, or superfluous gadgets. You put your top down, get your motor revving, and take all the curves that life throws at you at full speed. So what if you spin out occasionally?

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

I found this quiz at Dean's place. By the way: don't forget to enter my 500th Post Giveaway, if you haven't done so already. D.

Cindy Sheehan arrested for wearing a tee shirt.

UPDATE: San Jose Mercury News reports, Police Drop Charge Against Sheehan, Apologize. Gracias to Blue Gal for pointing me to John Nichols's editorial in The Nation, The War on T-Shirts. Here's a bit of meat: Is there really a law against wearing a political T-shirt to the State of the Union address? No. The Capitol Police, who on Wednesday dropped the charges against Sheehan, have acknowledged in an official statement that: "While officers acted in a manner consistent with the rules of decorum enforced by the department in the House Gallery for years, neither Mrs. Sheehan's manner of dress or initial conduct warranted law enforcement intervention." What they have not acknowledged, and what is truly troubling, is the evidence that Sheehan was singled out for rough justice. What follows is the entry I wrote this morning: Here's Cindy's story. Her shirt said, "2245 dead. How many more?" Read the whole story, but here's the part that gets me: I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."

Bradblog has updates and pictures.

I don't know if I have many Bush supporters in my audience, but I'm speaking to you folks now. What will it take for you to wake up? That's all I'm asking. What will it take?

The rest of you, sorry for the political post, but it seems like something new pisses me off every single day.