Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hey Doc? Do I Need This?

Back when I worried about my own car repairs, whenever a part was replaced, a mechanic would hand me the old greasy thing to prove that he had replaced that oil pan, brake pad, battery.  I never quite knew what to do with them.  Take them home?  Donate them to Good Will?  Make them into fine art?

(Google image)

(Google image)

I always thanked them very much and took the greasy gunk home where I threw it out.  I understood why they did it, it was to ensure that they really did replace your oil pan, brake pad or battery.  That they weren’t cheating you.   I got that part.

But I came home with something today that, well, I am a wee bit baffled to have in my possession.  I don’t know quite what to do with it.  And I’m pretty sure I didn’t think that cheating me was an issue this time.  And believe me, I’m sure they did the work.

You see, I had a medical procedure today.  Down there.  I had the colostomy patient’s version of a colonoscopy, an ileo-rectal sigmoidoscopy.  It was to find out what’s going on down there, to see what has been making me sick in the last few months and to figure out what to do next.  The procedure is a pain in the ass in that it is inconvenient, takes up a whole day plus prep.  But in the overall scheme of things, it’s really no big deal.  Plus they give me great drugs.

The good news is that I’m not doing too badly.  I will be taking drugs for a while, but none of the drugs that scare the bejesus out of all of us when we see their ads on TV where the list of how the drug will kill you goes on for longer than the program.  That’s good news.

And I am feeling better already so I can stop whining about my health, which is good news for you all.

But in addition to instructions on what to do tonight – take it easy, don’t drink, call us if you puke — I got a whole packet of information in a glossy file folder, which I figured would take its place in a file drawer with a packet of other similar folders.  Until I opened the file folder and saw that it contained color pictures.

I am the proud owner of several full color glossy photos of my asshole.

Next time, I will go prepared with a picture of my own:

(Google photo -- Sadly, not me.)

(Google photo — Sadly, not me.)

91 Comments

Filed under Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Humor

The Night I Won My Oscars

One of the reasons I started blogging is that everybody who knows me sooner or later gets to hear all my stories.  Repeatedly.  I needed new victims.  Preferably victims whose eyes I do not see rolling when I pull out my story again.  Victims who I won’t hear saying “oh, not that one again.”  Victims who are out of sight and will therefore leave me unaware when they run screaming from the room.

My fellow bloggers.

So today, on the magic day when all of Hollywood turns out, dressed glamorously (or incredibly hideously) for the Academy Awards, I will dust the red carpet off the story of my own personal triumph.

Red Carpet

It was an incredibly special night for me.  An honor really.  Well, actually two honors.  Two Oscars.  Two Awards.  But I only got to make one speech.

It was the summer of 1983, and some really fun people worked in my office, one of whom, Jon, was a summer intern from the DC area.  Carol, Mike, Jon and I all went to Jon’s house one night.  You see, 1983 was still in the Bronze Age, and Jon’s parents were on the cutting age of technology, because they had a VCR.  And Risky Business had just come out on video.

In the middle of the movie, we took a beer/bathroom break.  And guess what I spotted, casually stuck on the bookshelf in the TV room of Rob’s house.

Oscar 

Oscar 

And Oscar

 Oscar

It turned out that Jon’s father was a filmmaker.  Documentary films.  So, in honor of my acting career that died in a broom closet, my pals presented me with two Oscars for Documentary Filmmaking.  Sadly, not one of us had a camera.  Probably just as well, because my career would not have benefited by all the publicity surrounded my wearing blue jeans during my acceptance speech.

Receiving Oscar, and his twin, Oscar, was a special honor to me, since I had neither made, nor been in any documentary films, nor even fetched donuts and coffee for the real filmmakers.  Regardless, I got to hold Oscar and Oscar, and I got to make a speech accepting my Academy Awards.  So I am in an unusual club of people who have never actually acted or contributed in any way, shape or form to a movie, who has been presented an Academy Award.

Yes, I’m that good.

 *   *   *

If you’ve read this before, I hope you screamed quietly.

All images are from the Oscar winners at Google.

62 Comments

Filed under Awards, Bloggin' Buddies, Humor, Writing

The Great And Powerful

Do you ever miss things that are right in front of your nose?  I do.  All the time.  I am possibly the least observant person on the planet.

People are always pointing out little things I missed in books and especially in movies.  Did you know that Spiderman was in the 2003 move The Italian Job?  It’s true!  I wouldn’t make that up.  I can prove it, because it was proven to me.  But I had to watch the movie an additional 4 times before I found it.  You don’t have to do that, although it is a terrific movie.

One picture is worth a thousand words, whatever language this is in.

Apparently mistakes and weird things happen in films a whole lot, and most of us miss them.  Unless someone points it out you can be sure I won’t see it.  I’ve always thought it was because I am an unobservant dope.  But today I found out that I’m not the only one.

Still I’m always been glad that I was never hired to look for stuff.  I’d make a terrible detective because even after I am told who done it, I can’t figure out how or why or really anything else about what happened.  And if there are clues to be seen, well, I’d be more likely to spill coffee on them than solve the case from them.

So I’ve always been incredibly impressed by certain medical health professionals.  The ones who find stuff just by knowing what to look for, what it’s supposed to look like and what just isn’t supposed to be there.  They look and find tiny clues to medical mysteries on your body and mine.  They are the specialist to whom we are all referred at one time or another.  Because they are all seeing.

They are Oz.  OZ:  The “Great and Wonderful” not Dr. Oz the TV star, although I understand your confusion.

You Know Who(Google Image)

You Know Who
(Google Image)

Of course you’ve guessed that I’m talking about radiologists.  Yup, radiologists are rarely seen, and I don’t mean never seen socially.  Nope, they huddle behind protective glass, behind the walls that separate them from the huge machines their med techs stick you into.  Hidden.  I think they play a lot of video games of our guts.

It seems odd that you never get to see him/her, never get to chat.  You can never check their credentials.  Their bedside manner.  Their eyesight.  Still, I never really worried.  In fact, I’ve been mostly impressed by them.  I was especially awed by the radiologist who played video games of me just recently; he knew more about what other doctors had been doing to my body than I did.  At least based on the questions relayed to me by the tech.  Radiologists just notice everything.

Or so I thought.  But sadly, radiologists are just like you and me.  Just like the rest of us, they too suffer from “inattentional blindness” — not seeing stuff that’s right in front of them because they are concentrating on something else.  Yup, even people who get paid the big bucks to pick things out of pictures miss stuff, even when it’s waving right at them.

Click to Enlarge(Photo from the Washington Post)

Click to Enlarge
(Photo from the Washington Post)

According to this article in the Washington Post, a group of researchers tested a group of radiologists to see if they, like the rest of us, miss things while looking for something else.  And they did.

In fact, 20 out of 24 radiologists didn’t notice

that there is a gorilla waving to them

from the top of the right lung of this CT scan image.

Now I will admit that I had a hard time seeing that nice ape.  My excuse is that I can’t tell my right from my left and I was looking at the wrong lung.  I’m really hoping that not too many radiologists are Left-Right challenged as well as inattentionally blind.

But I’m sure my radiologist would notice.  Positive.  I’d bet my life on the fact that my radiologist would realize that there is a gorilla waving to him/her from this CT scan of a pair of lungs.

I also hope that monkeypox doesn’t become too prevalent around here.

74 Comments

Filed under Health and Medicine, Humor, Science

Beats the Alternative

One of my first bloggin’ buddies, Georgette of Georgette Sullins’ Blog tagged me for a blogging game.  My choice of morning activities was to respond or clean the house.  Guess which I chose.

The Rules:

1. Post these rules. (CHECK)
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you. (CHECK-ish)
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.  (CHECK)
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them. (CHECK)
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged. (I’m goin’, I’m goin’)

Here’s me.  Sort of.

Yes, I'm a hairy beast.  Mine is more blondish red, but same idea

Yes, I’m a hairy beast. Mine is more blondish red, but same idea
(Google image)

Eleven facts you may not know about me.

  1. No one has ever accused me of being neat.
  2. I went to secretarial school.
  3. People for whom I worked as a secretary in the 1970s are still trying to find stuff I filed.
  4. My interest in politics started during the Vietnam War but really took off in my freshman year of college when a professor suggested I take his course then next semester.  He thought I was brilliant, so I took his course for an easy “A.”  It was a course on the Kennedys  — the best history course I ever took.
  5. I cannot work on one thing all day.  My mind bounces around too much.  I call it a “Superball”; others say it’s ADHD.  You choose.
  6. My husband John and I were introduced by my old boyfriend, Erik; they worked together.  John and I often sat next to each other at firm functions and insulted each other mercilessly.  Erik used to get really mad at me because “other people just don’t understand that you are joking.”  John and I started dating 4-5 years after I broke up with the other guy.  The “people that didn’t understand” were a bit surprised.
  7. I was Daddy’s girl from the start.  I’m guessing conception.
  8. My brothers and sisters didn’t hate me because Daddy liked me best.  They used me to get Dad to say “yes” to something they wanted.  Worked for me.
  9. I routinely skipped school in 4th grade.
  10. I feel panicky whenever I have to drive across railroad tracks after living next to the NY-New Haven railroad line growing up.
  11. When we got bored just hopping across the railroad tracks when a train was approaching, my brother and I used to pull down our pants and then hop across the tracks in front of approaching trains.  Yup, every day is a gift.

Now, here are my answers to Georgette’s questions:

1. Did you have a cousin close in age to you?

Maureen, my mother’s sister Ruth’s daughter is 10 months older than me.  Aunt Ruth was a widow and she and Maureen spent most Sundays at our house.  Aunt Ruth was always placing Maureen and me back-to-back to see which was taller.  Of course Maureen always “won.”  It used to make me cry.  I didn’t like Maureen much as a kid.  We’re great friends now.

2. What was the first novel that transported you?

My sister Beth used to read my brother Fred and I the classics, right from the start, and I’ve always read voraciously.  But the first time I remember really consciously being aware of the power of words to transport was when I read Great Expectations.  I was then at the intersection between my own childhood and adolescence.  Dickens, who was clearly an adult when he wrote it, was able to go back so clearly and understandingly into Pip’s childhood feelings that I was comforted that I’d always be able to go back to mine.

3. Is the work you do to pay the bills a passion or practical?

My career has been completely accidental.  In my teens I dreamed of being an actress and a singer.  My mother worked in an office and it seemed like the worst sort of drudgery imaginable.  In my arrogance, I knew I was better than that.  More interesting.  More creative.  Smarter.  (See The Silver Lining – thankfully, I grew out of being such an ass.  Mostly.)

But I had health problems – colitis they thought (it’s actually Crohn’s).  I would always need health insurance and so my parents forced me, kicking and screaming, to secretarial school.

They were right.  I HAVE always needed health insurance.  But I managed to turn secretarial jobs into other (still office-bound) jobs that have been more rewarding and really interesting.  I have been incredibly lucky.

My current job is wonderful.  I get paid to write and to learn and to look at this wonderful view every day from my office window.

(Google image)

(Google image)

I have no complaints about taking the practical path.

4. Do you have a favorite country western song? If so, which is it?

5. If you could (or do) grow a garden would there be flowers or vegetables to fill it?

The only successful gardens I’ve ever had were vegetable ones.  There is nothing like the taste of that first tomato.

6. What would you like to see in the US that you haven’t seen yet? Or abroad?

In the US, I’d like to see some more of the west, particularly the National Parks – the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone (Jellystone would be nice, too 😉 I’d love to meet Yogi and Boo-boo)

In Europe, I’d love to see Rome.  But not when they’re trying to elect a Pope.

7. Have you ever caught a fish? If so, tell us about it.

One summer night when I was 7, our first summer living near the beach, my brother Fred grabbed me and we ran to the beach. There was a creek that ran with the tide, which was coming in.  Fish were swimming upstream to spawn.  The moon was full and shining off the silver scales of millions of fish.  We went in the water and caught one with our hands, took it home and put it in the bathtub.  We were going to keep it as a pet.  He(?) surprisingly died and we buried him in our garden that year.

I’ve never seen anything like it.  We never saw the fish migrate like that again — it was magical.  I think of it every time I see moonlight on water.

8. What’s your favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner meal?

Dinner:  Roast beef (medium rare) with gravy, egg noodles and green beans.  I don’t eat too much beef any more so it is a rare and wonderful treat when I do.

9. Have you been surprised recently? What surprised you? When?

Blogging has surprised me constantly since I started doing it.  I didn’t expect to make so many friends this way.

10. What is a state you have never traveled to, but you plan to visit someday?

Colorado.  I’ve never been and I love mountains.  It sounds like the perfect place.  I’d also love to visit the Pacific Northwest.

11. Is there a 2012, 2013 movie you would recommend?

Lincoln and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Now I get to ask questions:

  1. Were you closer to Mom or Dad (if you were spawned by aliens, please explain)
  2. There are moments in history that everyone alive at that time remember (for me it was the Kennedy assassination).  What was your first?
  3. Favorite pet ever
  4. Funniest quote
  5. Best insult you ever delivered and why the recipient deserved it.
  6. First memory
  7. What do you dislike most about blogging?
  8. Do your friends/family members read your blog?
  9. How would you be using your time right now if you weren’t answering my stupid questions
  10. Your dream job.
  11. What you expect to be reincarnated as in your next life?

And now, my victims.  Please feel free to ignore this or do it.  It is your choice.  I will not be hurt, I will not, in fact, stop stalking you.  I chose folks I thought would continue speaking to me after naming them.  If you’re not on it, you weren’t forgotten.   But feel free to answer my questions.  Feel free, in fact to make up your own.

Benze from Benzeknees

Carrie of The Write Transition

Cheryl of Crumb Snatcher Tales

Chris of Word Play

Cooper of Security is for Cadavers

Courtney of The adventures of Miss Widget

GOF from The Bucket

Guap of Guapola

Janice of Aurora Morealis

John of Johnbalaya

Lisa from The Big Sheep Blog

Michelle of The Green Study

Peg of  Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Rara of Rarasaur.

Revis of Stuphblog

Sandy of Sandy like a Beach

S7 of Speaker 7

Tops from Life With The Top Down

TwinDaddy of Stuphblog

Val of QBG Tilted Tiara

62 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Books, Childhood Traumas, Family, Humor, Music, Pets, Stupidity, Word Press

Chicken S*#t

[Washington, DC, February 15, 2013]  Pundits were astonished today when members of the GOP-led House Committee on Science, Space and Technology announced plans to hold hearings on science and the lack of federal research into the causes of natural catastrophes.

One witness agreed to appear:

Mirror

*     *     *

Seriously, yesterday,  Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced that he was shocked, shocked that the United States Guv’ment had not been investing enough money into scientific reasons why that meteor that exploded in the skies over Siberia, injuring over 1,000 people.

Yup, they are finally going to look at science because the sky is falling.  And they’re afraid it will land on them.

41 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Criminal Activity, Elections, Global Warming, Humor, Hypocrisy, Politics, Stupidity

Because I ♥ You

Nope, this isn’t a dozen roses.

Not a box of chocolates (milk — I wouldn’t dream of giving you dark).

Not skimpy underwear.

Just some important information from a fake medical professional and expert patient to ensure you can get those from someone else next year.  And the next.  And the next.

Know the signs and share this one with your friends.

57 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Health and Medicine, Humor

Lessons Learned

It’s pretty much universally accepted that we all learn valuable lessons at our first job.  I certainly did.

My first real job was at a burger joint in Connecticut called The Big Toppe.  It was modeled around a circus in that there was one picture on the wall of a clown.  And right from the start I learned important things.

That first day, I was guided by a “counter girl” named Barbara, who really took me under her wing in those early days.  And she taught me many of the rules that I’m sure she still lives by.

First, at head counter girl Lisa’s insistence because I was the new girl, Barbara took me out back to show me how to clean the restaurant’s restroom.  Taking the key from the hook, Barbara grabbed the spray bottle of ammonia and water, walked me to the restroom, opened the door and led me in.

“All you have to do is stand here for 2-3 minutes.  Then spray ammonia into the air and leave.  Nobody will ever know the difference.”

Lesson number two was important, but only while I worked there.

“Make sure to talk to Frank (the manager) when you wipe down anything.  That way he’ll think you are a good worker.  Otherwise, don’t bother wiping.”

My next and most important lesson came one day when she wasn’t working but I was.  Barbara stopped by The Big Toppe with her friend Mary to get some (free — if Frank wasn’t looking) carryout to take to the beach.  Barbara’s friend was horribly ugly, and I saw her picking her nose when she was in line.  “Yuck!” I thought.

Unfortunately for them, Frank was around and was making sure that nobody got free food that day.  So, while Barbara chatted with me, Mary went back out to their car to get lunch money.

“She’s really ugly isn’t she?” Barbara said.

I tried to be nice and said “I’m sure she’s really nice.”

“Oh, no,” said Barbara.  “She’s a real jerk.  But I try to always hang around jerks.  They make me look good.”

That was Barbara’s third bit of lifelong advice.  Always hang around assholes so you look good.

I realized last night that Barbara is now working for the GOP.  How else can you explain the fact that House Republicans invited this asshole to the President’s State of the Union Address?

Ted Nugent Crazy Guy

It would be difficult to find a bigger asshole than Ted Nugent

Remind me never to go into restroom on the House controlled side of the U.S. Capitol.

46 Comments

Filed under Elections, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity