Life Tumbles Like River Stones

I’m afraid to look at the date of my last post. The house project has had me and Hatbox Louie working all day for five weeks without a break. We were wrecked. Upswings? The house is coming together, and now we are in Austin Tx!

We have been researching possible places to live, and the list was shrinking and well, here we are. I think we might just do it. It seems absolutely bizarre to move to Texas, but Austin is very progressive and vibrant without the precious imperiousness of say the Bay area.

Anyway, we’ll have to go back to finish the house and grab our car, and I’ll post some after pictures of Collingwolde. Oh, what will a lapsed doctor do the Lonestar captital? No clue. Well, one thing at a time. Y’all come back now, heah?

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Published in: on April 11, 2007 at 10:02 am  Comments (2)  

Ohioan Separatist Extremists Hijack Suburban Fixer-Upper! Please Help!

We received an email with this grainy image, and thought it was a joke.

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Time revealed that we had indeed been the target of an extremist cell, and our fixer-upper had been hijacked. These Buckeye freaks want to secede from The Union and set up a new nation state right here between Indiana and Pennsylvania. They want to call it Ohighough. They are angry and dangerous, and they hold the misperception that we hold some sway with the federal government. We received a second email shortly after the first, with this disturbing image and a list of demands.

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Do-it-yourself fools! You will use your considerable influence with the Ohio legislature, Condawhatever Rice, Stone Phillips, and Jared the Subway-used-to-be-fat-and-is-now-just-slack-skinned-and-un-charismatic dude to enact this list of demands. You have 2 days or we will sand this money sink into powder!

1. We can’t take the green! We need to pave over the last 20% of Ohio with strip after strip of glorious parking and shopping. We are tired of these Mom-and-Pop stores hanging on in the downtowns amid the closed up shops. Wal-Mart. More Wal-mart. Kills the annoying family businesses, 40 acres of parking helping to eradicate the blinding Devil’s green of unpaved earth, and just for good measure, you stand a good chance of being sexually assaulted in the parking lot. We are unsympathetic–you dressed provacatively.

2. Enough with the family farms. Call ConAgra and run the remaining few out. We hate that folksy, get-up-at-5, hayseed crap.

3. Our recon team has reported a disturbing increase in hybrid cars here. I believe 6 was the number. We demand a Hummer in every garage. We will succeed.

4. Unacceptable! Only 142 Ohioans have become casualties in Iraq. Unacceptable. We will not rest until every young person in this state has been fed into that meatgrinder of cleansing violence.

And so you see, we need your help. Anyone who can help meet these demands in any way should act. If only to hold together our Nation Under God. We need you. For the love of money, help us!

When In Doubt, Grow A Beard

I hate shaving. I don’t know why. Fixing up a house involves so much tedium that I had to take one onerous task out of the lineup. Actually, it was Hatbox Louie’s idea. She calls it a construction beard. I really could hardly look less like a doctor which I guess is appropriate, since I could not feel any less like one.

The problem is, I don’t really feel like anything else either. I figure something will come to me, but that doesn’t sound like much of a plan. I guess I’m on pause.

As I peer into the future, all I see is…I guess that’s the problem: I don’t peer. I just wait. And paint, and scrape.

Thank God for the beard. There is a future. Predictable. Every day, it will be a little longer. Guaranteed. Even if I’m dead. Now if that ain’t puppy dog doily Hallmark hopeful, I guess I just don’t know what.

Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 6:10 am  Comments (1)  

How 10 Years Of Medical Training Has Finally Become Useful

1. The art of diagnosis.

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Diagnosis: Terminal datedness with chronic shodiness.

2. A rational treatment plan.

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Treatment Plan: Gutting with extreme prejudice. AKA Complete crap resection.

3. Prognosis: Modest profit with or without retained sanity.

4. Management of psychosocial issues: e.g. Though I at times want to hunt down the previous owners and beat them to death with the gouged baseboard molding which they chose to fill with staples. Yes staples. Or at least peer deeply into their eyes in order to fathom what kind of human spirit could make the design choices they made. In the end I am forced to acknowledge that they are children of God, beautiful and flawed as we all must be. And there is no accounting for taste.

5. Follow-up: Stay tuned.

Published in: on March 9, 2007 at 6:56 pm  Comments (4)  

Oh The Dirty Secrets Carpet Pad Has To Tell

We are finally into Collingwolde, and ripping it to shreds. Carpet and very nasty carpet pad adhered to the subfloor by some evil spills and pet indiscretions. The heat is not on yet so it is freezing. The water is not on yet, so the bathroom is a former carton of Trader Joe’s French roast.

Does it really take 80,000 staples to hold down a piece of carpet? I mean my god, it’s not like the carpet is trying to escape. Very tedious. Is it clever to nail in the kitchen cabinets? What were they thinking? Didn’t they know we were going to come in and rip that crap out?

Overall it is going well, and it is nice to have something to do. So on we march.

Published in: on March 4, 2007 at 7:02 pm  Comments (3)  

Canadian and Computer Free

Hatbox Louie and I are in Montreal. We had been sharing one power cord for our two laptops since one of them disintegrated in Edinburgh. We left it in Toronto. Crap! So we have been rationing power to plan our trip etc. Oh well. Not great for blogging.

This city is huge and French and sophisticated. It is hard to fathom that we are just a few miles north of say, Plattsburgh New York. It is a whole different world up here. Very European. French cafes and very international cuisine. Very artsy and bohemian in some areas, architecturally diverse and rather majestic in others. Definitely a world class city. Very cold.

It would be hard to adjust to living here. One would really need to speak French to become integrated into the community, but the rewards would be significant. Well, I’m about to cut into Hatbox Louie’s time. Can’t type worth a damn. Tomorrow we head down into Vermont, which is great, but entails some stressful familial interactions for the old Hatbox. More soon. Adieu.

On The Road Again

Hatbox Louie and I are at it again. We have hit the road as we wait for the closing on Collingwolde. We are in Toronto where I spent much time in the past. I spent a semester at the University of Toronto, then a year before med school.

We are trying to figure out where to settle, and we just had to check out Canada. They actually collect taxes up here. Ok. Now here’s the wacky part. They use those collected funds to–get this–take care of their citizens. It is madness. Why don’t they just do what we do south of the border: collect our money, then funnel it to rich corporate interests via illegal and immoral foreign military adventures?

So anyway we are checking it out. Toronto is a fantastic city and we have had a great albeit very cold time. Today we are headed east towards Montreal. I think we will stop midway in Kingston, Ontario to break up the trip. Then we will dip back into New England and check out some possibilities there.

If you can’t figure your life out, just keep moving. What a plan!

Happy President’s Day. It’s Soo….Oh who cares?

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Published in: on February 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fourth Meal–The Ad Campaign Between Irresponsible and Pure Evil

Taco Bell. It is hard to even work up the energy to comment on this fat-lubed corporate death purveying denizen of the strip mall. It is such crap. OK. But this new ad campaign: Fourth Meal–The meal between dinner and breakfast–is so heinous and wrong, I just can’t stand it.

I don’t know the exact statistics but isn’t our country fat as hell? I think the percentage of obese Americans approaches about 99.999% in the red states. Trying to manufacture from thin air the idea that force feeding yourself a couple of lard wraps at midnight is OK–that in fact you need four square meals a day, is just the absolute height of irresponsibility.

Now I have no false illusions. Corporations only recognize responsibility to their shareholders and do the right thing or at least the not egregiously wrong thing exclusively for PR or legal reasons. But this is particularly unsubtle, and a public health affront to a country with a childhood obesity crisis.

And of course the children are the real targets. The fourthmeal.com website is all video gamey and adolescent boyish if you press male gender and girlish if you choose that portal. It is that demographic whose long-term habits these wicked chilito slingers would hope to change.

For shame! Shame on Taco Bell. And shame on all of us for allowing our society to be hijacked by immoral corporate fiends who not only would sacrifice the health and welfare of our young people to maximize short-term profit, but don’t even seem to feel the need to be subtle about it.

Fouth meal? How about Dante’s fourth circle of Hell? Feh!

Published in: on February 15, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Comments (19)  

Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

I really would love to post every day. The problem is that I always want to have something funny or clever or astute to say. So I delay until the pressure is so great that I’m forced to come up with something.

It’s sort of a microcosm of my life. I seem to be waiting around until something comes to me to do. Something meaningful, satisfying, creative. I have launched in so many directions and then had to dig out, that I refuse to budge unless it seems to be the right and perfect thing. So I’m left in limbo. Not good. Perhaps this act of sitting down to write without really having anything to say will spark a new direction.

Maybe I need an extreme makeunder. Lower the bar. Cultivate the unexceptional. Champion the OK. Air Supply not Aerosmith. Cheap Trick not Chick Corea. Gerald Ford not Jimmy Carter. PB&J. Applebee’s. Jug wine. Keanu Reeves…Whoa Nelly! That’s too far. How about Leo DiCaprio? That’s more like it.

Well, I’ll give it a shot. It’s only life after all.

Published in: on February 13, 2007 at 2:49 pm  Comments (5)