Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Straight from the nephrologist's mouth

One of the major things that separates us from fish is that we can concentrate and dilute urine, while fish can't.

Just in case you were wondering, "What separates me from fish?"

A little less conversation, a little more action

Jon Carroll in today's SFGate:
Clinton was for the war before she was against the war, while Obama was against the war before he was really against the war. That means their current positions are identical. They're both senators. Maybe they could work together to end the war? At least until, say, a year before the election. Just a thought.

Quit campaigning and do something that shows you're worth hiring.
It's a good thought.

Monday, February 26, 2007

This book is to be read in bed

The news just came in
From the County of Keck
That a very small bug
By the name of Van Vleck
Is yawning so wide
You can look down his neck.

This may not seem
Very important, I know.
But it is.
So I'm bothering

Telling you so.

Someday, I hope I have someone to read Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book to.
It's my favorite.

That point

It's four days before a big exam, and I'm at that point. It's the point where it feels like every minute of studying counts (she says, as she wastes precious time blogging). And on that note, I must head back to the books to conquer acid-base imbalances. I'm feeling a bit imbalanced right now. I wonder if that will help.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Balls away

An Associated Press article:
Lawmaker Comes Down on Plastic Gonads

Fake bull testicles and other anatomically explicit vehicle decorations would be banned from Maryland roads under a bill pending in the state legislature. The measure was filed in the General Assembly Monday by Delegate LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washingon, who says children shouldn't be exposed to giant plastic gonads dangling from pickup truck trailer hitches. The bill also would ban depictions of naked human breasts, buttocks or genitals, with offenses punishable by fines of up to $500.
"It's time to take a stand," Myers told The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

First of all, you have got to be kidding me. Are you telling me that there is no more pressing matter in Maryland, nothing else for LeRoy to work on? How many servicewomen and men from Maryland have been wounded in Iraq? Any of them having trouble receiving medical care, psychological treatment, disability services? Maybe something for LeRoy to look into, since he obviously has some spare time on his hands.

Second, plastic gonads are a gift to society. Everyone who thinks that they are funny should have to hang them from some part of their vehicle. Why? Because they serve as a warning. They scream, "The owner of this vehicle is a moron. When he starts hitting on you in the Walmart parking lot, run away!" Just think about how much better off we'd all be if every idiot came clearly labeled with decorative scrotums.

And speaking of scrotums, so was Jon Carroll's op-ed in Friday's SFGate:

There is a children's book called "The Higher Power of Lucky," which concerns the adventures of a plucky 10-year-old orphan who somehow eavesdrops on a 12-step meeting. That is not a promising premise, but the book won the Newbery Medal, the Oscar™ of children's literature, so maybe author Susan Patron brought it off.

But the book is the center of controversy for a whole different reason. Lucky overhears another character say that he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, in the scrotum. Yes, the scrotum. That's what the fuss is about.

I am happy to report that, as yet, no school boards have banned "The Higher Power of Lucky," although just wait. On the other hand, the Internet is buzzing with librarians expressing outrage at the use of the word and pledging not to buy the book for their institutions, and other librarians saying, "Are you mad? 'Scrotum?' Kids shouldn't read that word? Heck, half the kids have one, for heaven's sake."

All of which reminds me of a story. On our weekly rides down to Castro Valley for her horseback riding lessons, my granddaughter, Alice, and I have discussions on a wide variety of philosophical and equine subjects. A few weeks ago, she told me that one of the horses she rode, Papa, had serious digestive difficulties.

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Every time I jog on him, his stomach just rumbles all the time."

This didn't seem right to me. Not the data -- Alice is extremely trustworthy on factual matters. But I suspected the interpretation might somehow be flawed. When we got to Miss Molly's Academy for the Horsely Arts, I asked Miss Molly herself about it. She looked at Alice.

"This is just when he jogs, right?" Alice nodded. "Oh, that's his penis slipping back and forth in his penis sheath. It's very loud." Alice nodded. The information did not shock her; it did not even strike her as funny. (It struck me as funny, but I am not as serious-minded as Alice or, indeed, as most children.) Molly said it in a very matter-of-fact way.

So here's my theory: We have gotten too far away from our agricultural heritage. Kids who grow up on farms know all about elimination and procreation and penis sheaths. Animals behave like animals, and it doesn't take a big imagination to figure out that humans are animals too. If a dog got bit on the scrotum by a rattlesnake, there would be more important things to worry about than what to call the place where the dog got nipped.

My solution: field trips. Lots of field trips. Lecture-demonstrations. Maybe that will make those squeamish librarians more comfortable.

Or we could just pile them all on the bus to Maryland. Quickly, though, because they're about to enact legislation.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lent jewelry

I have never observed the Lenten season before but have decided to do so this year. I have been feeling entirely too sorry for myself lately. It is miserable, and more importantly, it is distracting. I'm sure I have missed many opportunities to do something for another. I've been so blinded by self pity, I can't see anyone else.
So, for Lent this year, I'm adding some jewelry and giving up some self pity. I have several beaded bracelets made by women in Mali. The women sell them for 2 cents a piece. They are worth far more to me, though, as they offer some much needed perspective. I see them on my wrist and remember how incredibly lucky I am.
For the next 40 days, less complaining, more looking out for those who aren't so lucky.

A shooting only 15 years in the making

A police detective was shot here this morning. It's all extremely tragic. I wish there was another word, because tragic is overused. It certainly applies here, though, as a 15 year old boy is accused. It makes me wonder what happened in the last 15 years, his first 15 years, to lead him to this morning. I wonder if he raised himself and just didn't do a great job, or if he has some well-meaning parents at home who just couldn't compete with his peers. I realize that the truth of his life probably lies somewhere in between. And tonight, he's in prison for aggravated murder.

Something as simple as boys and girls

gets tossed all around and lost in the world.
~ Patty Griffin

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A reminder from my bedroom wall

Let us settle ourselves and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through church and state, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality and say, This is, and no mistake, and then begin having a point d'appui...

~ Thoreau

My sister

I talked to my sister briefly tonight, and I ticked her off. I was sharing my unsolicited opinion about a photo she posted online.
My sister is a really amazing, gifted, complex woman.
If she knew that, she'd spend less time auditioning for friends and more time playing the part.
And she'd change the world.

After she hung up on me, she changed the picture.
Maybe it's a start?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I wonder...

And as for the truth, it seems like we just pick a theory
The one that justifies our daily lives
And backs us with quiver and arrows

Is that true?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Studying sleep

“Seven beers followed by two Scotches and a thimble of marijuana and it's funny how sleep comes all on it's own.”
~ David Sedaris

Practical advice conspicuously missing from the lecture.

Friday, February 16, 2007

More for my birthday

This evening, I found myself curled up in bed
crying about the past year.
Crying and feeling sorry for myself.

I came out of my room to find my apartment lit with candles,
my favorite kind of pizza,
a glass full of wine,
and the most loyal friend I've ever had.

And I was crying about not having enough.

I have more than any 26 year old woman deserves.
More than I will ever deserve.
So much more.

Getting old

Today I found a reasonably priced vacuum with a great rating from Consumer Reports and a competent dentist who's going to cut me a break because I'm a student.
Yesterday, I complained about not feeling like an adult.
Today, I'm excited about affordable dental care and a new vacuum.
I think I aged 20 years overnight.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

In about an hour...

I'll be 26.
I don't feel old enough to be 26.
When I was young, I thought people this age were adults.
I don't feel much like an adult tonight.
I feel unsettled, immature, a little lost, and very lonely.
I thought that I would have more figured out by 26.
It seems like the older I get, the less I'm really sure of.

Thoreau said, "It is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men to assist one than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone."

A kindred spirit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


According to the U.S. Greeting Card Association, 85% of the one billion valentines purchased each year are purchased by women.
I wonder how many of those women get absolutely nothing in return.

My father always makes my mother a valentine.
I wonder if my mother knows how lucky she is.

Presidents, not prophets

"If we fail there, the enemy will follow us here."
~ George W. Bush, speaking about Iraq today

"You have the possibility that many human beings pass under a dictatorship that is inimical to the free world.
Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the 'falling domino' principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences."
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, explaining "The Domino Theory"
on April 7, 1954

We lost in Vietnam, and the dominoes didn't fall.
Apparently, we elect presidents, not prophets.
Something to keep in mind as Mr. Bush tries to justify the killing.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mr. Wilson reminds us

"A misstatement of a fundamental fact which the administration used to justify invasion of a sovereign nation was in the President's State of the Union address."
~ Joe Wilson on Frontline: News Wars

There was no uranium purchased from Africa.
It's worth remembering.

Let it snow

Everybody's losing their freaking minds because it's snowing. Now, granted, it's snowing a lot. We're expected to get 8 to 14 inches before this weather system leaves us tomorrow. I'm in my warm apartment, though, with no where else to be. Classes have been cancelled.

So I say...let it snow!

As long as it's going to be cold, it might as well pour on the white flakes. They cover this ugly town, making it the prettiest time of the year here.

Let it snow,
let it snow,
let it snow!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday night

Sitting around, studying,
and watching people who have almost as much talent as their back-up singers win awards.

Rascal Flats just massacred Hotel California.
Funny that everyone talks about Clay Aiken's sexuality,
but no one seems to mention that this band's lead singer
sounds like he should be leading a girls' show choir.

But when Ludacris and Mary J. Blige sing
Runaway Love...amazing.
I don't consider myself a fan,
but there is phenomenal truth and courage in his lyrics.
He has a lot to teach about what it is like to grow up
poor and black in America.


I have this space,
and I really like this space,
and yet I haven't told anyone I know about this space.

I haven't quite decided what I want this to be;
and what I write,
what I can write,
is really determined by who visits.

Maybe I should quite being so self-conscious,
and write whatever I want,
and just let people find it.

Maybe part of growing up
is caring less about what other people think,
and more about what I do.

I have decided.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fresh breath

A rather sour tasting weekend continues,
and I'm off to find a breath mint.


Right now, hoping for a Florida break
and some good Step 1 studying.

Mostly just hoping...
interesting how hope can feel pathetic and defeated.

Friday, February 9, 2007

800 to life

I read that today--a child molester sentenced to 800 to life.
Who committed these crimes? Metheselah?
800 to life.
That's just absurd.
The whole story was sad and absurd.

It's been a horrid day. Started out okay.
That's the worst kind of day--the kind that starts out well,
and then deteriorates.

Sad and absurd...like 800 to life.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The mystery...

And maybe that's all that we need
Is to meet in the middle
Of impossibility.
Standing at opposite poles,
Equal partners in a mystery.

~Indigo Girls

I didn't fall off a horse

I don't need to "get back in the saddle"
I didn't fall off a horse.
I jumped off of that damn horse!

And I'm done with the equestrian sports for a while,
so quit asking if I'm dating.