Something About You Girl That Makes Me

Because I am full of sore muscles, arthritic joints and smartness, I drive myself over to the massage therapist’s office once a week and turn myself in. I explain what parts of my glorious person are laughing at me and not with me, then do half an hour of stand up comedy lying down, because if I stopped telling jokes, I might go a little screamy. Therapeutic massage, as practiced by Merciless Mark, can be very painful, but it forces me to come up with new material on an urgent basis.

Tata: This spot here feels wider after the surgery.
MM: Any chance the surgeon gave you a new body part? I hear that happens.
Tata: Why didn’t I ask him, “Hey Doc, can you make that narrower? I wouldn’t mind narrower hips.”
MM: Shake his hand and slip him a little something?
Tata: “My friend Mr. Lincoln would like you to take off – say – two inches?”
MM: “And his friend Mr. Washington would like to thank you.”
Tata: “What if Mr. Hamilton joined this party?” Sixteen bucks! I guess you could make up money.
MM: “Mr. Taft would like you to make the scar reeeeeally small.”
Tata: He’s on the one million dollar, right? No, the $250 bill!
MM: What’s Kennedy on?
Tata: The fifty cent piece. You flip that to your orthopedic surgeon and say, “Here, kid. Don’t spend it all in one place.”
MM: “Susan B. Anthony nominates you for Surgeon of the Year.”

Dang. He’ll be here all week.

A Drink of Water A Drink of Wine

Today, I'm six weeks out from hip replacement surgery and I can't say enough about HSS, which I know because they keep sending me surveys. Also: I'm up to 29 minutes on the stationary bike, which - survey says! - should be unpossible!

Today, I’m six weeks out from hip replacement surgery and I can’t say enough about HSS, which I know because they keep sending me surveys. Also: I’m up to 29 minutes on the stationary bike, which – survey says! – should be unpossible!

Where the Chess Players Used To Sell

I am pay-attentiony, so I am aware of stuff and shit, as Dad used to say.

Pete and I grew up in the same town, playing in the same woods, stomping in the same creeks and, when our town finally got a grocery store, walking up and down those same store aisles with our moms. That ShopRite left town and was replaced by another grocery store, which changed companies and names several times and recently moved to another building in the same mall for more, cleaner space. We know this Stop & Shop inside-out and backwards, so we were both perturbed when about a month ago, we found it in an uproar as the staff rearranged it. Last weekend, the stupid partitions, bread racks and crooked handwritten signs were gone, so the current arrangement has a look of permanence. It is our habit to walk in the front door, stop at the Hot Wheels display – because Hot Wheels! – and head right for the natural foods aisle against the left wall. We turned the corner and skidded to a rough stop.

At last, my camera phone captures both angst and ennui. Pulitzer, please!

Ta darling, you’re saying, just because spokesmodel Andrew Zimmern says don’t make it so. Perhaps the perimeter is optional, not optimal. Oh yeah?

The Mayo Clinic:

Picture your favorite grocery store. Chances are the fresh produce section, the meat and seafood departments, and the dairy case are all located around the perimeter of the store. This is where you should concentrate most of your shopping time. Why? Fresh foods are generally healthier than the ready-to-eat foods found in the middle aisles. This helps you better control the fat and sodium in your diet.

Staid Reader’s Digest:

Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where all the fresh foods are. The less you find yourself in the central aisles of the grocery store, the healthier your shopping trip will be. Make it a habit — work the perimeter of the store for the bulk of your groceries, then dip into the aisles for staples that you know you need.

Doggone, even WebMD:

Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.

Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions – honey – but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” [Michael] Pollan says.

These helpful people agreed strongly enough to make YouTube videos about this topic. Not food, and certainly not natural food, but it is a lie and a very cynical manipulation, isn’t it? Anguished cries of Mommy, HoHos are health food! must rend the air a hundred times a day.

At this point, I was looking for store security but they were probably on their phones, too. In grocery stores, everyone is. Possibly with the Mayo Clinic.

Crossposted to Brilliant@Breakfast.

See the Evil And the Good Without Hiding

When last we left god-forsaken Kansas, it was ready to forsake caring for women, even sick women. Perhaps the bill will pass, perhaps not, but that’s not really this issue, in my opinion. No, the real question is where is the AMA? Why does the AMA not step in and insist that legislators knock off this destructive shit that will make doctors all but uninsurable in Kansas and any other state that permits or, as in New Hampshire, demands doctors lie to patients?

Neutrality favors the oppressor 100% of the time.

It’s the best question the AMA’s website does nothing to address. Have a look at the site. It’s so mild it says nothing at all about anything, really. Fortunately, there’s a contact site, so you can ask the AMA yourself. I wrote a charming, profanity-free letter asking why the AMA is silent when women are harassed, misled, misinformed, mistreated, left untreated and, as far as the statutes are concerned, raped? This is not medical care. It is complicity with torturers.

You too might want to write a letter.

Hit And Run Transmission

My first mistake was making an appointment to discuss cognitive function and memory loss. My second was to show up on time.

Tata: I have to ask a delicate question.
Receptionist: Why are we whispering?
Tata: Because I have to ask a delicate question. I had a 2:30 appointment with the clinician. A little while ago, he appeared in the doorway and a creepy guy sitting near me got up and followed him. It’s now 2:50 and if the creepy guy was not seeing the clinician, where did they both go? Is it possible the clinician double-booked his appointments?
Receptionist: I…I will go find out for you what happened.

The look of horror on her face told me a few things I didn’t expect to hear. She got up and disappeared down a hallway and a minute later the clinician appeared through the leaves of a potted plant near me. He said something astounding.

Young Doctor: Can you stay for a 3:15?
Tata: Absolutely not.
Young Doctor: You can’t? We’re very busy.
Tata: No. You can call me in the morning at my work number, if you think we should reschedule.
Young Doctor: I’m seeing people every fifteen minutes to accommodate everyone.
Tata: Nathan, we are not off to a good start.

My knitting and I flounced off in a huff. A few hours later, Nathan called on my cell phone. It was not morning and I was not at work. This time, I was prepared to torment him properly.

Tata: Nathan, if you make an appointment with me, you should be ready to see me at that time.
Nathan: I’m very sorry.
Tata: If we can’t agree on that, there’s no sense agreeing on anything else.
Nathan: You’re right, you’re right. I’m very sorry. Sometimes technology gets away from me.
Tata: Nathan, I burned a vacation day to see you.
Nathan: You did? That makes it worse.

I did not say, “Pumpkin, I had 50 of them and my department head has lectures me about dragging my ass outside and vacationing like I mean it.” What, are you kidding? I’m training this kid to take his patients seriously.

Tata: Fine, what sort of time commitment are we talking about for this appointment?
Nathan: The first one is a brief interview, then there are two three-hour tests. We should probably spread those out. The first one we can do by phone.
Tata: That sounds great, since I can recline and eat bonbons. At which, I am great.
Nathan: I get out of clinic at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Is that a bad time to speak?
Tata: That is an excellent time to talk on the phone since I am guaranteed to have discouraged everyone else from talking to me on the phone after dinner. Unless someone’s dead. That better be the reason someone calls me at night.
Nathan: Let’s call it 8:45, then.
Tata: Wednesday, 8:45 it is. Now there’s just one last thing about this cognitive testing you’ll have to know.
Nathan: What’s that?
Tata: You’re going to have to forgive me if I forget to answer the phone.

Promote the General Welfare And Secure the Blessings Of

I’ve been standing around with my hands stuffed in tighter and tighter pockets, waiting for my lungs to feel less furry after that bizarre plague while all around me spring is springing. The thought occurs: Hey, Princess, remember that time you blogged the Constitution? No? Well, maybe you should. Also: where’d you hide the remote?

So. In the fall of 2006, right before the site I was storing Poor Impulse Control’s images on went kerflooey, we undertook this undertaking, intended to enhance understanding.

Bill of Rights
Part 1, including yogurt
Part 2, including NyQuil
Part 3, now with less snot!
Part 4, and yodeling
Part 5, extra cringy

The Meaty Stuff
Part 1, hot and cold
Part 2, a painful history
Part 3, bubbles that scrub
Part 4, plus shape-shifting
Part 5, shiftless
Part 6, including Johnny
Part 7, perilous produce
Part 8, including Fifi
Part 9, with mood lighting
Part 10, costume drama
Part 11, with feelin’

Back to the beginning
Part 1, autumnal
Part 2, an IQ test
Part 3, hairdo and don’t
Part 4, cattle
Part 5, togetherness
Part 6, voterosity
Part 7, cat bath
Part 8, a pricy prize
Part 9, spiral
Part 10, cucumber
Part 11, organ music
Part 12, crackpottery
Part 13, most papery
Part 14, compulsion
Part 15, listy
Part 16, clam bar confab
Part 17, starboard
Part 18, Oscar

Omigod, it’s a miracle my laptop didn’t sustain friction burns!

Waiting For the End of the World

Oh Arizona, you slay me:

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project has called Arizona’s proposed law the “most extreme bill of its kind,” one that would be more restrictive than any others currently in force in the US. Although it includes exceptions if the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the woman, there are no exceptions if, for instance, the fetus is found to have a life-threatening condition or other severe impairment. Banning abortions at the 18-week mark would also preclude women from obtaining information about the condition of the fetus, as many medical tests are either not performed or are not conclusive at that early date.

The bill doesn’t stop there. Under this law, if a doctor performs an abortion after that 18-weeks, he or she can be charged with a crime, have his or her license revoked or suspended, and can be held liable for civil penalties if the father of the fetus decides to pursue legal action. The bill also requires a mandatory ultrasound for anyone seeking an abortion at any stage of pregnancy (hello, transvaginal probes) and mandates that a doctor offer to show a pregnant woman the ultrasound, describe it to her verbally and provide her with a photo of “the unborn child.” It would also require a woman to wait 24 hours after the ultrasound before she can obtain an abortion.

I have a proposal of my own: it’s time to empty a state of religious wackos and let women move there who want to be left the hell alone. No bishops with squishy, dudely feelings. No snake-handling mouthbreaters pounding their fists and parishoners. No church ladies pursing their lips and pushing their daughters through the abortion clinic’s back doors. No more witchhunts and small-town gossip. Out they all go.

In go women who have no use for men with control issues. In go women who will never need a women’s shelter. In go women who get the healthcare they need in peace. Women can make a living there because there’d be no need to compete with men for jobs, so from construction to scientific research: it’s all women. All women, all the time. It’d be a state with one menstrual cycle for all, but few of us really need those anyhow. Children would never need to fear child molesters.

We’ll take South Carolina. It’s kind of nice there and I like the ocean, but I sure would enjoy hearing Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham kiss women’s asses in vain attempts to keep their jobs. Let the yahoos and godbotherers clear out and we can all have drinks on the porch on long, sunny afternoons. Men in other states would have to reconsider how they treat women because, in fact, women would have someplace better to go. And when you called, Arizona, you might not hear back from us for a long, long time.