Sunday, March 21, 2004
What Doctors Talk About in Staff Meetings
During our monthly office meeting on Friday, we met with a spokesperson for a company which provides home nebulizers and meds to patients with breathing problems. He was particularly proud of a new, miniature, portable nebulizer which he demonstrated for our use, and which consisted of a small inhaler attached to an on-off button which looked rather like a computer mouse. Among its other virtues: it's completely silent. When the demonstrator pressed the button a stream of what looked like fog came out of the mouthpiece, with absolutely no noise. Wonderful little toy, expensive as hell, I'm sure.
I stage-whispered: "It's a bong."
Our medical director: "I hope you never run for public office, Alice, because I'll have to come forward and tell everyone about this. You seem awfully familiar with drug paraphenalia." (Yes, she was kidding.)
Me: "I, uh, read about them somewhere."
General laughter, including from the rep, who fortunately had a sense of humor.
As I Was Saying...
My "pause" turned into a hiatus, it seems. I just haven't had the time or energy to post for awhile, but I'm back. I may need to do more blogging on weekends, since that's the only time I have to think or write right now.
From Allen: "How's the remodeling coming?" Glad you asked. It's coming along fine, except for the two days without hot water I had to deal with last week. My brand-new water heater malfunctioned, and my contractor spent an entire day trying to fix it himself before giving up and phoning the manufacturer, who sent somebody out who was able to figure out what the problem was. I also had to renegotiate my home equity loan, which has taken up a chunk of the last two weeks as well. This project is expensive, but it'll be worth it when it's done; the new furnace and fan are in, and on hot days I can now turn on the fan which sucks all the hot air down into the space under the house and pulls cooler air in through the windows. The first time I tried this the temperature in the house dropped ten degrees within twenty minutes. This should make summer nights much more bearable (I don't have air conditioning).
In recreational news: I have finally seen the first two installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, thanks to an "intervention" from friends of mine who said that I absolutely had to see it. (Thanks, Scott and Mary!) Yes, I know, I'm two or three years behind the times. My reaction: wow. I've never read the trilogy and couldn't get through "The Hobbit," so I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it or not - but I did. The scenery is stunning! Elijah Wood as Frodo is wonderful, as are all the actors, but I liked the hobbits best. Now I have to see the final installment, hopefully next weekend. Peter Jackson deserved every Oscar he won.
Friday, March 12, 2004
Greetings, Gentle Readers
Sorry - it's been the week from hell. Will post more this weekend, I promise.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Tonight on my way home I was startled to see a car draw up alongside me with a beautiful Afghan hound leaning out the back window. (With his ears flopped back behind him, I thought for a moment I was looking at Jar Jar Binks. I blame this on my hallucinatory post-call state.) He looked to be having a wonderful time. I tried to keep up with his driver, but unfortunately lost him.
This dog had a sense of dignity. Unlike many dogs in cars, he wasn't hurling himself hysterically around the back seat; he simply wanted to see what was going on. He was eyeing the traffic with almost scientific interest.
I want a dog. Damn, do I want a dog.
Cute Easter Idea
Oooo! Mozzarella cheese bunnies! I wonder if they make Peeps out of Mozzarella too...
I Got Yer Productivity Enhancer Right Here
Feel like playing some 80's video arcade games? Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders - they're all here. You can even play Pong.
Most Guilt Inducing 404 Page Ever
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Today is the one hundredth birthday of Theodore Suess Geisel, better known as Dr. Suess. To celebrate, go read On Beyond Zebra or one of his other books. I've always been partial to And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, myself.
Monday, March 01, 2004
No Weddings, Two Funerals
Apologies for the lack of posts. This has been a difficult week. On Tuesday I went to church for a school board meeting and ran into a friend who told me that a mutual friend of ours (I'll call her Jennifer) had died that day. She had metastatic colon cancer which was diagnosed about eighteen months ago; unfortunately, it had already spread to her liver at the time they found the tumor.
Jennifer was the parish administrator for many years, and did a fantastic job. She also sang in the choir, and her memorial service was attended by current and former choir members who sang with her. The music was outstanding, and the eulogy was given by the choir director.
Jennifer's illness kept her away from church for over a year before she died. I sent her a card or two, and sent some food for her family after her initial diagnosis, but I could have done more. I always intended to call or send her a letter to update her on what was going on at church, but I didn't - I always got sidetracked. It hurts to think of that now, but I have promised myself that I will not let that happen again.
Michael's funeral was Saturday, and Jennifer's was yesterday. I was acolyte at both services. I'm glad I did it but I'm still wiped out. Please excuse the lousy writing today, but I wanted to let you know what was going on and I know I'm not going to have time to edit this.
Monday, February 23, 2004
That's not his real name, but I would like to preserve his privacy.
Michael and I went to the same church. I got to know him well over the years; he was a kind and generous guy, deeply spiritual (he was a Benedictine oblate). He loved to throw dinner parties, and would share his theater tickets with friends regularly. Sadly, he also struggled with clinical depression for many years.
He killed himself a few days ago. His neighbor found him on Saturday.
I was called Saturday night by another church member, also one of Michael's friends, who was trying to get the phone number of the doctor who took care of him. I found the number for him and then struggled with shock and denial for hours afterwards. The next day, at church, word had clearly gotten around: We stood in little clumps, discussing and mourning.
Michael stayed at my house for several weeks in the fall of 2001, while work was being done on his house. He was there, in fact, on September 11. I remember the two of us sitting in shock that night after getting home from work. Every time I go into my spare bedroom now, I think of him. Most of all I keep thinking of the coffee mug I'd gotten for him for Christmas. He canceled his annual Christmas party because he wasn't feeling well (in retrospect, I think that was a danger sign) and then I went out of town for the holiday, so that I never got around to giving it to him. It's still in its gift box in my closet.
I think it's going to be there for a long time. I can't bring myself to give it to anyone else; it's his, even if he never got it.