Saturday, December 31, 2005

Meet The New Boss

The old year's about as gone as the old pope. The old one's gone, but there's a new one just as intractable and just as hairy-assed.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Better, Better, Worse--What A Dance

I had my tests today and though they found a thing or two to mention (such as a hiatus hernia), they don't conclude that what they found is related to my weight loss. Though I had upper and lower GI exams, they seem to have a middle one they hadn't ever mentioned before, a small bowel exam. Yet they don't do that test there (why not?), and so I am still hanging in the breeze for any useful info. I guess they can figure it out after I'm dead.

While I was waiting on the gurney and not yet sedated or medicated, I began to notice a dark thread or something visible in the top portion of my left eye. I tried to discount it then, but I still see it and I realize it's bound to be more problem for my vision. I haven't tried to see it in the mirror. I don't know if I'm seeing a blood vessel or what. Things don't get better, they get worse. Or so I fear.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Visions Of Johanna Lyrics

aint it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet?
we sit here, stranded, though we all do our best to deny it
and Louise holds a handful of rain, tempting you to defy it
lights flicker from the opposite loft
in this room the heat pipes just cough
the country music station plays soft
but there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off
just Louise and her lover so entwined
and these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind

in the empty lot where the ladies play blind man’s bluff with the key chain
and the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the D train
we can hear the night watchman take his flahslight out,
and ask if its himself or them who should be insane
but Louise she’s allright, she‘s just near
she’s delicate, she seems like the mirror
but she just makes it all too concise and too clear
that Johanna’s not here
the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
where these visions of johanna have now taken my place

little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
he brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
and when bringing her name up he speaks of her farewell kiss to me
he’s sure got a lot of gall
to be so useless and all
muttering small talk at the wall
while I’m in the hall
how can I explain it’s so hard to get on
and these visions of Johanna they kept me up past the dawn

inside the musuems Infinity’s going up on trial
voices echo “this is what salvation must be like after awhile”
but Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues, you can tell by the way she smiles
see the primitive wallflower freeze
and the jellyfaced women all sneeze
hear the one with the moustache say, “jeez,
I can’t find my knees!”
jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
but these visions of Johanna they make it all seem so cruel

the peddler now speaks to the countess who’s pretending to care for him
saying “name me somebody that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him.”
but like Louise always says, ”You can’t look at much can you as she herself
prepares for him
and Madonna she still has not showed
you see this empty cage now corrode
where her cape of the stage once had flowed
the fiddler he now steps to the road
he writes “everythings been returned which was owed”
on the back of a fish truck that loads
while my conscience explodes
the harmonicas play the skeleton keys in the rain
and these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

If You Live

If You Live
(lyrics by Mose Allison)

If you live your time will come
I say if you live your time will come
So child don't mess with that cotton sack
It will scratch your knees and bend your back
And if you live your time will come

If you live your day will come
If you live your day will come
So child don't play with those pots and pans
They will soon enough ruin your pretty hands
And if you live your time will come

If you live a day will come
If you live a day will come
When the sun will shine
And the crops will grow
And you think you're not gonna worry no more
But if you live, your time will come

Dryden Quote

John Dryden: "None are so busy as the fool and knave."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Royal Telephone Pole

Being without insurance, I am depressed and disoriented to find that the colonoscopy and the upper GI I'm scheduled for next week (29th) are going to cost about $3300 and that they want half up front. Everyone else I've dealt with up til now have dealt with me as more of a human being and didn't have this Fuck You for being uninsured attitude. So if these happy chipmunks discover something in their line of expertise that needs to be treated, I can only imagine the royal telephone pole up the ass it will be to try to pay for that.

I had again lost weight since last time at a doctor's, but only 3 lbs., so in a sense that was good news. Nonetheless, I feel more fatigued than ever.

It's still taking forever to get my retirement and disability filed, with fault or blame to go around to all parties, including myself. If I understood it, though, some portion of it will be retroactive, so that there may be one eventual fat period of catching up with the costs. Meanwhile I have no claims to feeling very well.

It is hard not to feel depressed.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bored and Boring

Being sick just makes me bored and boring. There’s no two ways around it. Though my vision has improved some, I still wouldn’t trust myself to drive, so I’m pretty homebound! All my favors get used up being carted to various doctors’ appointments or going to Wal-Mart for medicines and other needs. Though I have as morbid an interest as anyone else in seeing the various forms of damage done by Hurricane Rita to buildings and the environment, I’ve still had little view of it all. Since I can only see what’s close to me on the very few routes that I travel, I’ve missed a great deal. By the time I’m able to drive and to see it all, I guess a good deal of it will have been repaired, replaced, or cleared away! Of course, that I’d want to see destruction is a little crazy, I guess. But I’d just like to see what is, like anyone else. Then again, I’ve never been one to want to go on elaborate visits to communities where Christmas decorations are rampant! Many people love that and go to extreme trouble to see the lights, but I guess I always felt I could adequately extrapolate from the decorations I’ve already seen what a LOT of decorations would look like. I guess I really should apply the same principles to the destruction as I do to the decorations. But whoever said that human beings have to make perfect sense?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor is dead.

Nothing avails our grief. (borrowed from Lawrence Durrell)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The New And The Old Me

I've babbled about weight loss, but never shown it. I find I'm having trouble remembering how to get pictures placed here without them disrupting the sidebar. If you find pictures here, showing first the old, then the new me, I succeeded.

stout me skinny me

Was He One Of The Three Stooges?

Benjamin Disraeli: "My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me."

Friday, December 09, 2005

Happiness Is A Warm Puppy

I’ve been seeing all these medical practitioners at the doctor's office, but today for the first time saw the actual doctor. He seemed very nice, but I can’t say if he’s smarter than all the others or not. In any case, he certainly has more background and gravitas than the others and brings perhaps a new perspective. That can’t hurt. He seemed to agree that the UTMB denying my appointment for colonoscopy was rubber-stamp bullshit as much as I had suspected. I told him to proceed with lining up an appointment with the clinic in town and I’d deal with the costs. He also wanted to arrange for me to see a podiatrist for my feet—the neuropathy and the horrible toenails needing to be cut. I used to be able to cut them when I could see okay, but even I’d sometimes cut some flesh. Not a good idea these days because the neuropathy would likely prevent me from feeling it! He’s doing some lab work (blood and urine), took some chest x-rays, and took me off of one of the diabetic pills (Glipizide) to be sure I wouldn’t become hypoglycemic (get low blood sugar). Too bad I’d just bought a new bottle of them. So, we’ll see what happens. I was still losing weight today—down from 160 lbs. a few weeks ago to 153 lbs. That’s too much. I’d rather stay at 160, thank you. (Those of you who haven't kept track, be aware my normal fat man weight used to be 240 lbs.!)

Because most of my clothes and jackets are too large for me, I’ve had to get some new shirts, pants, etc. Today, I got a new black leather coat by Izod for $179 (half-price); it’s very fine. What I would call garment leather. Burnished lamb, the manufacturer calls it. Certainly the finest coat in my memory! More fun to caress than your favorite puppy! Possibly not more fun than your favorite sex organ. Depends on what fun you've had lately, I guess.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

People In Waiting Rooms

People in waiting rooms are always pretty strange to me. I guess I’m not sociable enough. Some people are so voluble that they nearly seem rabid to me. My last visit to the doctor there was a man who talked ceaselessly, mostly to the woman he was sitting next to. She showed so little interest in him that I thought she was a disinterested stranger who only answered him at all out of politeness, but as it turned out she was his long-suffering wife who just didn’t talk much. I guess she’d long ago given up on getting her turn. At one point he found “a really great cartoon” in one of the magazines and tried to engage nearly everyone in the waiting room in his attempt to share it. At the time, it would have just made me irritable as I couldn’t see well enough and didn’t want to make conversation with a stranger about why I couldn’t.

Also present that day in the waiting room were two couples, and it turned out that the wives had long decades ago been childhood friends and next-door neighbors, though they hadn’t seen one another in years. There was nothing objectionable about their reunion, of course, though I would just as well not have heard every single word of it! Some people do everything at full volume and without restraint, I don’t know why.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Childproof Caps

How I Hate Those Sons Of Bitches

I suppose that somewhere it has all already been said about caps on medicine bottles. Those awful “childproof” caps that in fact, for sick people, are burglar-proof. I can’t get in, either, when I’m sick! I only recently managed to remember to get mine changed over to—well, whatever you call them—maybe “irresponsible” caps! I find it a great deal easier to keep my medicines safely away from children than to keep my medicines securely locked up from me! I wonder what generation of irresponsible adults started all this fanfare? Are there homes still where adults can’t figure out where to hide things from short, weak, and relatively unimaginative children? I understand that kids are tenacious, but so far I’ve never known one to get even close to my medicines, much less get into them and eat the nasty things as if they were candy!

Okay, being a parent may be more difficult than I know, since I’m not one. But children do come around here. I always know the location of my medicines and my sharp lancets (for taking blood sugar readings) and the little “guards” from the end of the lancets that probably look like little candy pills to a baby! I don’t forget to keep track, dammit! Do you?

Hell if I know what people do or why. I think mainly they overdo all these “safety” procedures so that you won’t be able to sue the corporation that they work for due to your own inane misuse of the product. Meanwhile, I'm a little bit blind and a lot uncoordinated, and already taking Prozac for shitty nerves and stuff, and I don't need this hateful business from childproof caps!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Diminished In Waiting Rooms

There are all kinds of myths and truths about doctors’ waiting rooms, I suppose. I just prepare myself to suffer incredible fuckass boredom and forget about thinking, usually. Try not to let things penetrate. I recall once a man who’d arrived after I did was complaining and carrying on about “how long” he’d been waiting and some people were getting in before him. One nurse tried to explain that there were multiple schedues (due to multiple medical practitioners) and he had to wait his turn. After the nurse left, I told him, “you must have once been seen promptly at some doctor’s office, a thing that I can hardly imagine!” He snuffled and sat there red-faced until his name was called. It never dawned on him, apparently, that I and some other patients in the waiting room had been there longer than he had.

Waiting in waiting rooms makes everyone murderous, I suppose, but occasionally there’s someone like the above who doesn’t seem to know it’s par for the course. I suppose that the President doesn’t wait at Bethesda Naval Hospital, but I’m not even sure about that.

I do know you can lose your mind in a waiting room. One time recently at the retinal specialist’s office, I sat in the waiting room, unable to see well enough to read the magazines, barely able to see the large TV that was tuned to the Food Channel, and trying to zone out when I became vaguely aware of the strange fare they’d been toodling about on the food shows. I went back through my memory and came up with these two items they seemed to have been just talking about: one was chocolate ravioli, the other was something that at least looked like jellied pubic hair (and was not appetizing!). I later determined that there really was a chocolate ravioli dish, though it still strikes me as being as unlikely as the other! Oh, well. This is how demented one can get in a big comfy waiting room when one’s faculties have been diminished!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Another Evasive Post

Guest View
by JW

Some of the more avid readers of your Blog feel terrible about your illnesses. We hope you recover quickly and completely. We wish your Blog a speedy recovery as well. You were once a prolific writer, not without talent and inspiration, an inexhaustible author. Since then, your brain has been reduced to a bowl of mush. You have been transformed into a sniveling caricature of your former self. Seemingly, posting anything, just to have a daily entry. Some post have just a quote, or maybe some songs lyrics, someone else’s words. The last post does show promise though, “The survey”. Personally, I can’t wait for the miserable intellectual to return, the insightful pessimist to make a come back. I want to see the brilliantly composed and structured pieces we’ve all become spoiled to. I want the clever cynic who writes, sometimes witty, sometimes serious, but always interesting articles for his post. I desperately hope he is slowly making a come back.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Testing, Testing, One Two Three

stolen from frustratedwriter, who stole it elsewhere:

What is your favorite...?

Gum: none
Restaurant: Novrozsky
Drink: water
Season: what the hell do I know?
Type of weather: just cold enough for long sleeves.
Emotion: amusement
Thing to do on a half day: watch TV till I puke.
Late-night activity: Blog
Sport: you’ve got to be kidding me
City: Austin
Store: who shops?

When was the last time you...?

Cried: when I found out I had every illness I’d ever heard of.
Played a sport: I’d have to be kidding you.
Laughed: watching the news on TV.
Hugged someone: a couple of weeks ago..
Kissed someone: same.
Felt depressed: What day is it?
Felt overworked: getting up this morning
Faked sick: probably not long ago, but I can’t remember
Lied: Were my lips moving?

What was the last...?

Word you said: shit
Thing you ate: sugar free peanut butter cookie
Song you listened to: Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues
Thing you drank: Water
Movie you saw: The Return Of The King
Movie you rented: NA
Concert you attended: who’s kidding who?.

Who was the last person you...

Hugged: JE
Cried over: me.
Kissed: JE, quite platonically.
Danced with: who do you think I am?!.
Shared a secret with: my cousin JW.
Had a sleep over with: family during Rita evacuation..
Went to a movie with: that damn woman.
Saw: my niece.
Were angry with: a FEMA bastard.
Couldn’t take your eyes off of: the attractive blonde with the nice bosom at the eye doctor’s office.

Have you ever...

Danced in the rain: not unless I was brain-damaged and can’t recall.
Kissed someone: yes
Done drugs: yes, but it’s all over now,Baby Blue.
Drank alcohol: yes, but don’t touch the stuff any more.
Partied 'til the sun came up: by myself or with someone else? Oh, well…
Had a movie marathon: not in recent history
Gone too far on a dare: No, I try not to take dares.
Spun until you were immensely dizzy: not since I was under 10.
Taken a survey quite like this before: no.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Subterranean Homesick Blues

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
In the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D. A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But users, cheaters
Six-time losers
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles

Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music