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Postings are in chronological order, with the most recent entry at the top.

August 2002

Apropos of nothing, we're getting new neighbors in our building (I'm sure that none of the annoying external neighbors will move out - to spite me, naturally). Since our landlord has forgotten to send us a survey of our preferences in this important matter, I'm being helpful and slipping a list under his door.
In order to mitigate the impact that the new occupant(s) will have on my daily routine she, he, it, they should be:

(a) overworked; and therefore quiet upon returning home

(b) unattractive; as not to arouse unnecessary excitements

(c) male homosexual(s); as not to have to deal with unnecessary excitements (I'm not keen on being hit on in the hallway of my own apartment building - I will not overly miss the older tenant...)

I do not want to wake up on August 31st and find a moving truck parked in front of the building with two buff twenty-something lesbians hefting bits and pieces of their lives inside (attractive is a given at that age). They'll be bumptious and whatnot. Having just turned middle aged, I'm too old for that sort of thing. And it'd put a strain on Ume, who's adamantly against the idea of buff twenty anything crowding in next door (she's hoping for a depressive geriatric with narcoleptic tendencies).

Whoever is in control of the heat switch for the Northeast - quit it.

Ever wonder where you could find a list of fictional lesbian detectives? click here

Ever wonder where you could find a queer Latina webzine? click here

I especially liked: click here

"Sweetie you need a therapist."

"That's not what the voices tell me."

RMV, DMD, LSW, MD, CPT, DSM - it's been a busy couple of weeks here in the old Brulee spin cycle. I've recently made the transition into middle age. It wasn't graceful. My body decided to fall apart all of a piece (I'm exaggerating slightly for dramatic purposes...). Anyway, I've been taking time to tackle a few outstanding issues. It's helpful to have Ume's support in this matter (her loving ultimatums are, as always, deeply appreciated).

And so, I have not one, but four, count 'em, four chinese band-aids this week (
click here to read a previous mention of this scented bother). I not only smell like a Chinese apothecary, I could probably get a job in one as an aromatherapy health aid.

How did I come to be in such an exaulted position (as I'm sure having four is way more important and whatnot than having just one...)? There I was, in an admittedly vulnerable position on the massage table, and the massage guy starts slappin' 'em on me - thwack, thwack, thwack... thwack. "Chinese Marijuana" he calls it.

"What's in it?" I asked (I figure if I have to smell like this and I've got four of 'em, I might want to know...).

He smirked, "I don't know, my mother told me to use them."
This information did not inspire a great deal of confidence in the product...

Have I mentioned that he's a major pain in the ass? He thinks much the same of me, which is probably the real reason he plasters these stinky things all over me.

Afterwards, he told me that my personality, while a detriment to my state of health, is entertaining. I think he and Ume are in cahoots.

While I'm on about health and the deplorable state of mine, I thought I'd treat you to a couple of exerpts. They're from the ludicrous bit of whatnot I'm entertaining myself with of late. I highly recommend it, though it's hardly anything like a sensitive or enlightened text (written as it was by an Englishman in the latter 19th century - be warned!). Still, it has it has it's points, total absurdity being the one that attracted my attention. If the exerpts tickle your fancy, you can access the whole text online at the Guttenberg Project site. I'll provide the link below.

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (exerpt - also the beginning of the book):

THERE were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were - bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.

We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it. Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said that HE had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what HE was doing. With me, it was my liver that was out of order. I knew it was my liver that was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his liver was out of order. I had them all.

It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch - hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into - some fearful, devastating scourge, I know - and, before I had glanced half down the list of "premonitory symptoms," it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever - read the symptoms - discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it - wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus's Dance - found, as I expected, that I had that too, - began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically - read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright's disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid's knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight. Why hadn't I got housemaid's knee? Why this invidious reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed. I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid's knee. Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood. There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.

I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an acquisition I should be to a class! Students would have no need to "walk the hospitals," if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they need do would be to walk round me, and, after that, take their diploma.

Then I wondered how long I had to live. I tried to examine myself. I felt my pulse. I could not at first feel any pulse at all. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed to start off. I pulled out my watch and timed it. I made it a hundred and forty-seven to the minute. I tried to feel my heart. I could not feel my heart. It had stopped beating. I have since been induced to come to the opinion that it must have been there all the time, and must have been beating, but I cannot account for it. I patted myself all over my front, from what I call my waist up to my head, and I went a bit round each side, and a little way up the back. But I could not feel or hear anything. I tried to look at my tongue. I stuck it out as far as ever it would go, and I shut one eye, and tried to examine it with the other. I could only see the tip, and the only thing that I could gain from that was to feel more certain than before that I had scarlet fever.

I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck.

I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I'm ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. "What a doctor wants," I said, "is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each." So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: "Well, what's the matter with you?"

I said: "I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid's knee. Why I have not got housemaid's knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got."

And I told him how I came to discover it all.

Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn't expecting it - a cowardly thing to do, I call it - and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.

I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist's, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back.

He said he didn't keep it.

I said: "You are a chemist?"

He said: "I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me."

I read the prescription. It ran:

"1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer
every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."

I followed the directions, with the happy result - speaking for myself - that my life was preserved, and is still going on.

In the present instance, going back to the liver-pill circular, I had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being "a general disinclination to work of any kind."

What I suffer in that way no tongue can tell. From my earliest infancy I have been a martyr to it. As a boy, the disease hardly ever left me for a day. They did not know, then, that it was my liver. Medical science was in a far less advanced state than now, and they used to put it down to laziness.

"Why, you skulking little devil, you," they would say, "get up and do something for your living, can't you?" - not knowing, of course, that I was ill.

And they didn't give me pills; they gave me clumps on the side of the head. And, strange as it may appear, those clumps on the head often cured me - for the time being. I have known one clump on the head have more effect upon my liver, and make me feel more anxious to go straight away then and there, and do what was wanted to be done, without further loss of time, than a whole box of pills does now.

You know, it often is so - those simple, old-fashioned remedies are sometimes more efficacious than all the dispensary stuff.

This second exerpt is from later in the book:

There is a blatant bumptiousness about a steam launch that has the knack of rousing every evil instinct in my nature, and I yearn for the good old days, when you could go about and tell people what you thought of them with a hatchet and a bow and arrows.

To read the whole text, zip on over to one of the many Project Gutenerg sites:
click here

"The Washington Times said on Wednesday that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had overcome their differences and had reached a consensus on using military force." (click here for the rest of this article)

When we attacked Afghanistan, officials from the Bush administration flew all over the world showing all manner of secret evidence to prove that there was a connection between Al Quaeda and the Taliban. World leaders were convinced and agreed that we had the right to defend ourselves from further attack by striking back. I don't see them flying around now with evidence, just trying to convince the world of something they've wanted to do for a long while now. Which is why the leaders of the world have told them to take a hike.

What happened to that Marshall Plan they promised Afghanistan? Remember that? I guess that they don't need to go through with that promise, seeing as how they got what they wanted already.

At least G.Bush isn't promising the Iraqi people to support them if they rise up against their leadership, like his father did. Remember that? All of those Iraqi's who were slaughtered after they listened to our President? Our presidents (republican and democrat) don't have a great track record in the Middle East.

With all of this going on G.Bush still had time to mention privatizing Social Security last week... I should have thought the state of the stock market would have relieved that reflexive itch for a while at least.

So you're saying, "Okay genius, what's your suggestion for the world's ills?" Personally, I think if everybody took up tiddlywinks, we'd all be in better shape. You see, tiddlywinks is a game that requires strategy, commitment, concentration and follow-through. As far as I can tell these are qualities that would be helpful in today's difficult global environment.

I need a nap.

2002 Déjà vu- July - June - May - April - March - Feb. - Jan.

2001 Déjà vu - Dec. - Nov. - Oct. - Sept. - August - July - June - Misadventures- April

Compassion Fatigue Entries - 2001

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