Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

It’s Nixon time again

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

OK, fellow boomers,

It is time – unfortunately – to confront yet again that spectre of our youth, Richard Milhous Nixon. It seems that more of his papers and of course those infamous tapes have been released recently and some luckless soul tasked himself with updating our image of the man, documenting his endless tricks and missteps.

And endless they are, from sabotaging a Vietnam peace deal in ’68 – before he was elected! – so he could beat Humphrey, to spending weeks drunk in ’73 during the Yom Kippur war, leaving decisions to Kissinger and Haig and almost triggering a nuclear war.

Terry Gross interviews Tim Weiner, the guy who documents all this, on a recent Fresh Air episode titled “The Tragedy of Richard Nixon”. You can find it here on the web or search for that title on your phone’s podcast app.

Why should you listen? I suppose one reason is for “closure” though I hate that word and the idea behind it. A better reason is to remind yourself that things were every bit as fucked up in our younger years as it seemed at the time. Or, if you don’t want to go home again, listen to better understand why we are in the mess we are today.

But don’t eat right before you click “play”: once again, Richard Nixon will make you wretch.

anemia [uh-nee-mee-uh]

Monday, March 15th, 2010

–noun

1. Pathology. a quantitative deficiency of the hemoglobin, often accompanied by a reduced number of red blood cells and causing pallor, weakness, and breathlessness.

2. a lack of power, vigor, vitality, or colorfulness: His writing suffers from anemia…

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrroad trip!!!

The car is tuned. It’s got new tires and is loaded down with jackets and maps and food for doggie and me and of course my camera and the tripod I always take and hardly ever use. The back seat’s converted into Otto’s Command Center so da pooch can survey the world from the comfort of his traveling bed. And we are driving down Highway 101 through the ridiculously green hills of an El Nino winter California listening to Roseanne Cash and Michelle Shocked on our way south to visit family and friends…

That’s what was supposed to happen. (more…)

Medical system FAIL

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This happened yesterday. The only info you need to make sense of it are a) I was in the hospital for a few days about two weeks ago due to high fevers following an endoscopy (a look down the throat), and b) when they were looking, the docs saw something that concerned them,  declaring it Must Be Removed. I agreed. Now if only I could get it done…

Rather than polish it up and risk losing the, er, spontaneity, here’s the eMail I wrote to my friends.

Went to ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) clinic today to get the thingy in my throat removed. The following happened:

1. Doc saw me, said situation is exactly what the docs in the hospital had said two weeks ago: growth on pharynx, probably papilloma, needs to come out. Said he’ll do an excisional (right word?) biopsy removing the whole thing (unless it extends into my brain or some other inconvenient spot). I said hooray for that! (more…)

Happy 58th birthday! Uh… hold on… better make that “85th”

Friday, July 10th, 2009

There has got to be a maximum number of diseases and disasters, conditions and catastrophes that one human body can handle before it just gives up and dives for the worms.

Surely two life-killing viruses, cancer, a liver transplant and all their attending “issues” is enough for one existence. You think?

Guess not.

This past month I’ve entered the brave new world of autoimmune disease. A couple of choices present themselves: one is called dermatomyositis, which is tthe operative definition at the moment, and it is NOT your friend. If you must read up, here’s a link, but don’t go there if you’re the least bit susceptible to internet-based too-much-medical-info-itis. My other option is graft versus host disease – GVHD in the jargon. This happens when a bit of the donor’s immune system gets into the recipient’s during transplant, and apparently requires (in non-marrow transplants, anyway) the recipient to have a weak immune system. Congrats, me! I win again!

The next doc who says to me, “Oh, but the odds are so small that such a thing will happen!” gets taken down. (more…)

Perspective

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

A short time ago a friend came by and we went out for a quick bite. I’d had a hectic and minorly frustrating day today and was complaining about it, as we are wont to do – most of us, anyway. After I’d vented and the conversation relaxed, my friend laughed.

I was puzzled. Neither of us had said anything amusing.

What’s funny? I asked.

You, he said. Listening to you rant about phone calls and classes and traffic jams instead of your medical  operations or test results or upcoming procedures. I haven’t heard you do that in years.

Ouch.

I was stung for a moment, even a bit ashamed. WHAT was I doing, fretting about such things? After where I’d been? Perspective, Ed, please! Perspective!

And then I rejoiced.

Did I ever expect to worry about such everyday problems again? Did I ever expect to have everyday problems again? How far I’ve come! And how damn amazing is that!

I deeply thank my dear friend for that lesson.

Rant: Credit Where Due

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Recently I stepped in a pile of religious doo-doo on the ‘net. I extricated myself as fast as I could and made an attempt to tidy the mess, but it left the inevitable stain. What happened was this.

I have Yahoo and Google set to troll the web for the latest news on liver transplants and Hepatitis C. Along with the (desired) medical info I get articles about celebrities (Anita Roddick dies from HCV complications, alcoholic politicians and celebrities get moved to the top of the transplant list when they wear out an organ), Google also sends along links to blogs on these topics. Usually I just scan them (more…)