Hey Doc? Do I Have To?

You know, there may be a good reason why the GOP hates science.

Sometimes it is just plain gross.

As a dog lover, my “gross-me-out-the-door” threshold is actually quite high — I can stand some pretty gross things.  Only today my dog Duncan did the following:

  • Drank from the toilet
  • Licked his genitals with relish*
  • Ate poop

Let’s face it.  Dogs are gross.

But we humans?  We are gonna give these pups a run for their, ummm, money.  Their kibble.  Actually, I’d like to give Duncan a run for that pair of shoes he’s always stealing, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s story involves poop.

Remember last January when I told you guys all about how you can make big bucks with your butts?  Really!  I did! With this post:

Need Extra Cash?

Are you so rich that you’ve forgotten this already?  Forgotten that I told you that you can clean up by donating your poop so that it can be transplanted into

Poor suckers infected with c difficile, particularly nasty bacteria that is really hard to get rid of.

I even provide a chart by which you can measure just how useful you’re being:

Credit (if you want to call it that) Washington Post

Credit (if you want to call it that) Washington Post

The idea behind poop transplants, in case you’ve forgotten, is that scientists believe that we’ve made our guts too clean — we have too few of the good bacteria that lead to healthy poop left inside our guts.

Today I have an update!  Wait, wait!  Keep your pants on!

Unfortunately, this update will not increase your revenue making opportunities.  Still, scientific advances are awesome.

Because now, thanks to scientific advancements, those same poor suckers can now eat shit! 

Really! I read it in the New York Times:

Fecal Transplants Made (Somewhat) More Palatable

There is a  non-profit organization called OpenBiome that is dedicated to providing poop transplants to needy patients with c difficile.  And they came up with a poop pill.  These poop pills will go a long way towards flushing out the bacteria.

Wait!  Wait!   No they don’t!  They flush in good bacteria.  I mean you eat poop pills with good bacteria in them.  And probably some of the nasty stuff too.  Like poop.

And some day, poop pills may be available for folks like me with Crohn’s Disease and other crappy GI diseases.  They are testing poop transplants in folks even as we speak.


Photo: Erik Jacobs for the New York Times

Photo: Erik Jacobs for the New York Times

Personally, I’m keeping a close eye out on this treatment option.  Because with my Crohn’s Disease, some day I might just have to say, “Hey Doc, do I have to?”

* For the record, I do not put relish on my dog’s genitals.  Duncan is not a dachshund.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Being an asshole, Chronic Disease, Conspicuous consumption, Crohn's Disease, Diet tips, Dogs, Extra Cash, Family, Gas, Good Deed Doers, Health, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Huh?, Humiliation, Humor, I Can't Get No, Illness, keys to success, laughter, Mysteries, Pets, Poop, Science, Seriously funny, Shit, Shit happens, Taking Care of Each Other, Technology, Toilets, WTF?

A Missed Opportunity

Dammit.  I missed it

Nuremberg.  The Nuremberg trials. Of course I wasn’t born yet.

I also missed the 70th Anniversary Commemoration.  At least I think I did.  I just Googled “70th Anniversary of Nuremberg” and I’m a little bit confused.  The 276,000 hits I got (in 0.64 seconds) give dates all across the spring of 2015.  I was reminded of the Anniversary when I saw that MSNBC has made a documentary about the trial.  I imagine I missed that, too.

Yup.  I missed all of them.  And while I regret not paying more attention to the 70th Anniversary (whenever it actually is), there is one Nuremberg-related thing that I truly regret, and I always will.

Did you ever see the movie Judgment at Nuremberg?

It’s a great movie.  Amazing performances by a phenomenal cast — Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Richard Widmark.  Even William Shatner somehow got in there.  I watched the movie in high school because I had read that Judy Garland, whom I love, was in it and gave a terrific dramatic performance.  (She did.) I knew the names of each character in the movie.  They were real folks, and they made history.

In fact, I’ve always been fascinated by real people who make history.  I’ve always liked to learn their stories.  And I’ve been lucky enough to hear a few of them in person.

But back to the movie.  That movie made me think about what happened there, and to realize that it was a proud moment in world history.  We, the Allies, gave fair trials to people who were accused (and ultimately convicted) of some of the most heinous crimes ever committed by mankind.  Martin Bormann, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer, among others.

Holy Shit!  That is really huge.  And the trials left their mark on how we conduct ourselves since:  International rules regarding how we treat and try alleged war criminals come from the Nuremberg trials, as did the Nuremberg Code that established the ethics of how medical research participants must be treated.

By now, you’re probably wondering what I’m yammering on about.  Sorry.  I’m getting there.

In the school year 1977-78, I was working at a law school as the administrative assistant for a large student organization.  I had a big office, right in the center of the school just off the main reception area, and at the head of a hallway that also held the offices of a bunch of professors.  My office had a couple of comfortable chairs, a couch and, most importantly, coffee and tea.  During the school year, loads of student congregated there.

That summer, like all summers, the school was quiet.  Very quiet.

One day, an older man stopped by my office and introduced himself. His office was a couple of doors down.

“Hi, I’m Professor Taylor,” he told me.

I introduced myself, and told him to feel free to stop by any time for coffee or tea.

Professor Taylor took me up on my offer.  Just about every afternoon, all summer long, we had tea together.  Professor Taylor was a visiting professor, and he seemed kind of lonely.  He was looking for someone to chat with.  He liked to chat. And he liked to ask questions, too.

I was surprised when he asked me my opinion of the other professors.

“But I’m just a secretary,” I objected.

“How someone treats a secretary is a great measure of a man — or woman.  You can tell a lot by how someone treats secretaries.  It’s easy enough to be nice to your peers; harder to be nice to people who aren’t.”

So we chatted all summer long — for two months.  He asked me a lot of questions.  About the other professors, about the students.  About Boston and things to do and places to go.  We talked about local restaurants, the best way to get from here to there.  As the summer progressed, he told me of places he’d traveled to with his family, other places where we’d both like to go.

He was such an incredibly nice man.

I thoroughly enjoyed our chats, and was sorry to see them end with the summer.  Of course, our tea parties ended when school started and my office became a beehive of students.  He started teaching classes.  Still, we stopped and chatted a bit when we ran into each other in the hall or in the cafeteria.

At the end of the school year when his visitorship was done, Professor Taylor stopped by and gave me a lovely can of wonderful English tea.

“I wanted to be sure to give this to you personally before I left this afternoon, Elyse.  They’ve evicted me from my office!”

“Who am I going to share this with this summer without you?” I responded.  We chatted a little bit longer, said our goodbyes and he left.

“Why did Telford Taylor give you tea, Elyse?” asked Lucas, one of the students who was in the office.

“We had tea together a lot last summer when we were the only folks here,” I responded.  “Lots of nice long chats.”

“Did he tell you about the trials?”

“Trials?”  I tilted my head at Lucas.  “What trials?”

“The Nuremberg Trials.  Telford Taylor was the lead prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials.  He tried the Nazis!”


There aren’t a whole lot of things that I truly regret about my life.  But I’ve always wished that I had known a little bit more about the man when we met for tea.  And I would have too, if he’d been a character in the damn movie.

Telford Taylor at Nuremberg Photo Wikimedia Commons

Telford Taylor at Nuremberg
Photo Wikimedia Commons

Not only was he the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, he stood up to Joseph McCarthy, an early objector to the Vietnam War, and lent his voice to many other political causes that I’ve long thought about.  When we were chatting over tea, I wasn’t terribly political, but I did have an interest in history.  And Professor Taylor was a playah.

I will never stop kicking myself.


Filed under Cool people, Nuremberg Trials, Tea Parties, Telford Taylor

Melancholy Baby

A lot of my bloggin’ buddies suffer from depression and other emotional challenges.

Like Picasso, I just have the occasional blue period.

We all do.  In my book, it’s not always a bad thing.  And apparently I’m not alone in thinking that it’s OK to be blue from time to time.

In today’s New York Times, there is an interesting article:

The Case for Melancholy

The article discusses the fact that, in today’s life, it seems we are all always expected to be happy.  Cheerful.  Perky.

“Bullshit,” the article states.  Metaphorically, of course.

Whatever happened to experiencing the grace of melancholy, which requires reflection: a sort of mental steeping, like tea? What if all this cheerful advice only makes you feel inadequate?


I’m not, and the author is not, talking about clinical depression.  Just the fact that sometimes, quiet sad reflection is a good thing.

We don’t all have to be perky all the time.

Google Image

Google Image



Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Being an asshole, Friends, Health, Health and Medicine, Humor, Mental Health, Missing Folks, Picasso's Blue Period, Taking Care of Each Other, The Blues

Am I Too Late for the Debate Debate?

Sorry guys.  I’ve let you down.  I know that you rely on me for news.  And I failed you.

I haven’t written a single word about the GOP candidate kerfluffle on the debate and all those mean questions that the CNBC moderators asked.

So I thought I’d leave it to my spokesman to make my comments for me:

I mean, what more could I offer?  What more can be said about these clowns and their “‘First Percent’ Running For Prez” problems?  Not much.

Frankly even I, a political junkie, am getting sick of it all.

So I’ve been trying to figure out just what we can do to get a little bit of relief from it all, without, well, getting too much relief from it all.  And I have a few ideas:

  • We could restrict GOP access to one channel (Fox would do nicely).  Who wouldn’t want to listen to this:

  • We could gamble on the odds of the various GOP contenders getting the nomination (there’s actually a website that does this:  http://www.sportsbettingdime.com/news/presidential-election-super-serious-odds-and-props/.  Me, I’m planning on making a mint by betting on Scott Walker becoming the 45th President of These United States.  Nobody else will think to bet on him!  I will clean up!
  • Or we could eliminate all news of the GOP and fill the airtime with additional CSI series in different American cities!  Because, really, you just can’t have too many gun-drug-sex related crime shows set in America’s cities, now can we?

I must confess, I’m leaning towards the last one.  Because I have just the city for the show!  A city that combines crime with a Democratic Tradition!

Image Wikimedia

Image Wikimedia

The Park City — Bridgeport, Connecticut!

Wait, wait!  Don’t go.  I’m not done!  And I have good reason to suggest this location!

You see, I, personally, was born in Bridgeport– as were all of my family members whom you’ve come to know and love.  The fact that we moved away really has no bearing on the issue of whether a good crime drama could be situated in Bpt.

Equally important, one of my relatives once served as Mayor of this fine city.  I never met this cousin 238 times removed.  But still, blood is blood and that’s important in any crime drama.

Lastly, on Tuesday, the City of Bridgeport — my home town — elected an  ex-convict Mayor.

Ex-Con In Jail For Seven Years Elected Mayor of Bridgeport, CT


Image: Breitbart News (Still, it is really actually true — they DID elect an ex-con who’d gone to jail for cheating the City of Bridgeport!)


Voters in Bridgeport, Connecticut elected as their next mayor an ex-convict who spent seven years in federal prison after being convicted on 16 corruption charges.

Democrat Joe Ganim, 56, had served as mayor of Bridgeport – the state’s largest city – 12 years ago, from 1991 to 2003, when he resigned after being convicted of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals and companies in exchange for sending city contracts in their direction, the New York Times reports.

Since he was released from prison five years ago, Ganim has worked as a legal assistant at his family’s law firm in Bridgeport, though he has not been able to have his law license restored.

Now tell me, which would you choose?  To watch the GOP or to watch a colorful Democrat?


Filed under 'Merica, 2016, Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Bat-shit crazy, Beating that Dead Horse, Bridgeport, Campaigning, Cancer on Society, Crazy Folks Running, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Do GOP Voters Actually THINK?, Political Corruption, Roots, WTF?

We Are Not Alone!

Last week, I read Bloggess Jenny Lawson’s new book Furiously Happy.

Image from Amazon.com

Image from Amazon.com

Furiously Happy deals with Jenny’s mental health issues, how she copes with them, and, importantly how they help make her the person she is.  It is truly a gift to folks with anxiety, depression, other mental health issues (and to those who care about them).  It shows them that they’re not alone.

The blurb on the flap sums it up pretty well:

This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny’s mom says, “Maybe ‘crazy’ isn’t so bad after all.” Sometimes crazy is just right.

While Furiously Happy is geared towards folks with mental illness, I came away from the book feeling comforted about my physical illness, Crohn’s Disease.  Because Furiously Happy reminded me that other people — probably everyone, in fact — struggles through life with something.   And that’s why we all — every one of use — need each other. 

Because no matter what each of us is facing, we’re not alone.

Plus, the book is hilarious.  You will rarely enjoy mental illness quite this much.

Oh, and go read her most recent blog post, which had me laughing for hours last night.  It is a compendium of awkward moments sent to the Bloggess via Twitter.



Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Books, Chronic Disease, Crazy family members, Crohn's Disease, Family, Farts, Friends, Good Deed Doers, Health, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Huh?, Humor, Illness, laughter, Love, Mental Health, Oh shit, Seriously funny, Shit, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts, Writing, WTF?

Let Me Be the 4,894,307th Person to Remind You: VOTE!

Yes, I’m sick of the reminders, too.

Sick of the candidates’ signs.

Sick of the damn phone ringing with robo-calls and folks who can’t pronounce my name calling during dinner.

Still, it is important.

Tomorrow, is election day.

Vote!  Keep the crazies in office down to a minimum.

Elections Matter!

   *     *     *


  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi

State Legislatures:

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia


Anchorage, AK; Arlington, TX; Charlotte, NC; Colorado Springs, CO;* Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Duluth, MN; Fort Wayne, IN; Fort Worth, TX; Greensboro, NC; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; Lincoln, NE; Memphis, TN; Montgomery, AL; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh, NC; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA; South Bend, IN; Tucson, AZ; West Palm Beach, FL; and Wichita, KS


Filed under All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Bat-shit crazy, Beating that Dead Horse, Campaigning, Climate Change, Crazy Folks Running, Criminal Activity, Do GOP Voters Actually THINK?, Elections, Just Do It and I'll Shut Up!

You Can Shake On It!

It was a month ago, and I can still feel Tracy’s hand against mine. Actually I can still feel her limp fingers brushing up against the tips of mine in the creepiest handshake ever. Ewwwww.

*     *     *

I didn’t do it to be a jerk, although I absolutely was. I just thought it was funny.

You see, I had a neighbor when I was growing up who gave me the secret to success.  Repeatedly.  Captain Leavitt would explain to me, again and again, the proper way to shake hands.

“Leasie!” he’d say. “You gotta understand this!  It’s the key to success. You’ve got to know how to shake hands properly if you want to make something of yourself.”

Captain Levitt * actually knew what he was talking about. Because he had gone from being a poor kid in Brooklyn – a high school dropout – into the owner of a posh string of shops (Custom Shop Shirtmakers) that sold, well, custom made shirts. By the time I knew him in the 1960s and early 70s, he was a millionaire several times over. He lived in New York City, but he had a weekend house down the road from mine.

He never failed to stop when he saw me to teach me the secret of success.

And I never failed to do it wrong, each and every time.

“Leasie!” he’d say, in his thick Brooklyn accent. “No, no, no!  You’re not doing it right!”

Google Image. What a smile he had!

Google Image.
What a smile he had!

He must have thought I was a moron. I’m sure he recalled the 4,396 times he’d already taught me just how to shake hands.

“You need to pay attention, Leasie!” he’d say, reaching his hand out to shake mine.

Of course I’d do it wrong.  Just so he could show me again.

“Now reach your whole hand towards mine – put the webbed part between your thumb and pointer right up against the webbed bit of mine. Wrap your fingers around mine and grasp it firmly – firmly but not too hard. Then shake it twice — three times is OK. Four times? That’s too many.”

Each time, I was a good student. By the time he walked or drove away, I was shaking his hand properly.

The next time? I’d screw it up again, just so he’d teach me again. I’m pretty sure that he thought I would likely need a lot more than a firm handshake to become successful. But Captain Levitt did what he could for me.

*     *     *

Now back to Tracy.

John and I are looking to replace my car, so I went into a car dealer one Sunday afternoon, sans husband. It’ll be my car, so I want to figure out what car I like before John insists I buy something else. So there I was, by myself in the car dealer. s

As I sat in a car that was conveniently $10K over budget, a voice came from nowhere.

“hello” it whispered.

A woman’s voice. It seemed to have no body attached to it. When I eventually saw the body that went with the disembodied voice, I quickly figured out the problem. She was hiding in my blind spot.

“I’m Elyse,” I said, reaching out to shake her hand.

“I’m Tracy,” she said in a whiny, barely audible voice.  And she grabbed the very bottoms of my fingers in her cold hand and massaged them.  Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Tracy tapped into my inner Captain Levitt. I forgot about the car, and could think of nothing except how to pass on Captain Levitt’s lesson to Tracy.  After a good handwashing, that is.

But that’s harder to give words of wisdom than you’d think, you know. Tracy is an adult! And you can’t just go around teaching adults things, you know. They don’t appreciate it.

Besides, I didn’t like Tracy. At all. The fact that she had previously been a disembodied voice AND that she shook hands like a limp lobster was only part of it. She was really creepy, like that person in the horror movie who nobody notices until she picks up the axe.

More importantly, she wasn’t helpful at all.

What on earth was she doing selling cars? It was like the car dealership version of a reality show where the contestants are assessed for the job they would be worst at. And somehow, I was written into the pilot.

Tracy couldn’t answer any of my questions about the car. She didn’t care about cars, in fact. I’m not even sure if she had driven one ever before. She explained to me that she was really a fashion designer.

“Well, you’ll look great when you get on Top Gear!” I said to her, the only nice fashion/car thing I could think to say.

“What’s Top Gear?” she asked.


So Tracy came with me on the test drive of one car she didn’t know the first thing about.

While she went to get the keys to a second car I wanted to drive, I decided. I had to do it.  Yes, I steeled myself to teach Tracy how to shake hands properly. I was pretty sure that some day, her next meal might just depend on it.  The entire future of this pathetic woman might actually depend on ME.  I couldn’t stand the pressure.

Because as Captain Levitt told me many, many times, “The key to success is in a good, firm handshake.”

I waited for Tracy to come back, trying to figure out just how to break the news to her. That her wimpy handshake was a problem in sales. In other jobs.  Hell, a shitty handshake was a problem in life itself.

So I decided to tell her about Captain Levitt, the rags to riches story of a very successful man.  And to teach her what he had taught me so many times before.

In fact, in the 30 minutes I waited for her to bring the keys to the second car I wanted to drive, I had it all figured out.

At least I did until Tracy blew me off in favor of another customer.  Yup.  The bitch walked by me with a young couple who wanted to test drive the car I was looking at. She looked up at me and waved as she got into the back of the car. WITH THEM.

So Tracy will never learn that the key to success is in a good firm handshake.

Oh, and not being an asshole. That’s on the top ten keys to success, too.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Being an asshole, Childhood Traumas, Growing up, keys to success, Shake, Wimpy handshakes