Monthly Archives: December 2009

sotd 12.31

“Falling Slowly” / Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová [The Swell Season] (2006)
I can’t remember where I heard this song, because I don’t think it was at the Oscars. Or was it? Anyway, please do enjoy:

The sneaky-ass little toaster.

I don’t even know these people anymore.
Yet, I grew up here. Somewhere along the way, I assumed that my food routines paralleled those of my family. But now – today – I was shocked to discover the state of a kitchen appliance that, in my own kitchen, has always held a place of esteem:
the toaster.
As I prepared my morning meal today, I was appalled to see that the toaster, that most glorious of cooking devices, was covered in not just a fine layer of dust but a thick, horrifying quilt of it. It was as if a sewing circle of dust mites had pieced together a little toaster cozy. It was disgusting, and all I could do to stop myself from vomiting directly on the kitchen counter.
After thoroughly bathing Toaster with a clean damp cloth in warm sudsy water, I gently placed him back on the counter. Lo and behold, I found that his cord had a maximum length of approximately 4 inches, thus greatly limiting his placement during the preparation of breakfast. After arranging the coffee pot, knife block, sugar and flour containers, and that one old nasty ashtray that holds keys that don’t go to anything anymore, I was finally ready to allow Toaster to fulfill the destiny that he had been prevented from achieving for so long.
This is when I noticed the broken dial.
As it was impossible to adjust the level of my rye bread’s toastiness, I was forced to pull up a chair and keep Toaster company while my breakfast crisped within him. I murmured encouragements as I used a wooden spoon to force the up-down-lever-thing into the “up” position, revealing still-soft bread.
After seven-or-so tries, a goldenly delicious piece of toast arose before me, ready to be adulterated by shitty “squeezable” grape jelly from a plastic container (bleh!). But before I assembled my breakfast, Toaster needed to be returned to his home.
And this is when I realized that the entire fucking toaster became red-hot with use.
Okay. This was getting ridiculous. No other toaster I’ve used or owned needed to be handled with potholders after cooking one lousy piece of bread. This, combined with the broken dial and fucking short-ass cord? Fuck you, Toaster. Now I see why no one ever uses you, you little piece of shit! I just want a goddamn fucking piece of toast and now I have blisters on all five fingertips and almost electrocuted myself when you nearly fell into the fucking sink. I see how it is, you sneaky motherfucker: “Oh, poor little me. I sit in the corner of the kitchen counter and nobody loves me. Julie, will you love me? Will you? I promise to cook your toast perfectly and I swear I won’t cause you bodily injury!” Like some nasty old man who cons the hot lady nurses into giving him a sponge bath, this Toaster fucking used me, man! Shit.
Some breakfasts just aren’t worth the heartache.

sotd 12.30

Today’s song is also brought to you by Memories Of Things Past:
“Rise” / Josh Rouse (1998)
And no, I can’t find a link to an audio version (but Google “josh rouse rise lyrics” and you’ll be directed to an link), so here’s the lyrics:

Think I’m gonna pass out
Think I’ll just lay down right here
Would someone turn the light out?
I’ll cover myself with a jacket, I’ll still
Catch the last ride on a Brooklyn train
30 years old and nothing’s changed

Spent hours on a landline,
Hopin’ you would find time for me
Showed up at your door, it was a scene
I was so sure,
You would be free
I should have caught a ride on a Brooklyn train
30 years old and nothing’s changed

And I’ll rise to greet you in the morning… time
And I’ll rise to greet you in the morning

Tried so hard to ignore
All the feelings I have for you,
They won’t leave
I’m so crazy
How I wish you would come around
And we could meet
So catch the last ride on the Brooklyn train
Meet me on a corner and I’ll entertain

And I’ll rise to greet you in the morning… time
And I’ll rise to greet you in the morning
It’s an honest thing, and honest things they last

I think they’re gonna come and carry me away…
I think they’re gonna come and carry me away…
I think they’re gonna come and carry me away…
From you…

I think they’re gonna come and carry me away…
I think they’re gonna come and carry me away…
I think they’re gonna come and carry me away…
From you… From you… From you.

Hospitals have great soundtracks.

So I’ve got this friend who’s a doctor. A real, honest-to-Allah doctor. She says things like “I’m on call” or “I was doing a procedure” or “I’m a doctor” and I’m like Fuck yes! My friend is a motherfucking doctor!
And while it has taken her approximately 93 years of formal education to reach this Important Milestone, I realized the other day that my personal Medical Knowledge ain’t too shabby, either.
I present to you:

Things I’ve Learned From Watching Doctor Shows On TV And A Few Doctor Movies
(In no particular order)
* Doctors spend many hours looking longingly (or wistfully, or forlornly) outside of patient’s rooms without ever actually interacting with the patient or his family. This is an integral part of what I like to refer to as the Doctoring Process.
* It takes a lot – and I mean a lot – for a doctor to be fired, or even formally reprimanded. I mean, the nurses routinely kill innumerable patients out of compassion; thus, a doctor must ritually slaughter multiple people before the Chief of Medicine (it’s always a Chief of Medicine, never the police) intervenes.
* Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation as taught in Red Cross first aid classes is wrong. Instead, you don’t need to have any sort of leverage over the person in cardiac arrest. Oh, and it’s totally fine to bend your elbows with each compression. And if that doesn’t work, intra-cardiac epinephrine (see: liquid crack cocaine) will always, always bring the patient back – but only after she has experienced an extremely vivid, hallucinatory flashback to an Important Moment in her childhood.
* All doctors in all hospitals are devastatingly handsome or tragically beautiful. These handsome and/or beautiful individuals are supported by other doctors and technicians of average or below-average looks. Significant surgical procedures are awarded to surgeons based on their physical appearance.
* Said devastatingly handsome and tragically beautiful doctors routinely have sexual relations with each other (generally in various locations within the hospital, i.e. “the supply closet” or “the on-call room” or “the bed next to a coma patient”). Remarkably, extremely complicated maps of sexual partners are created without any communication of sexually transmitted infections – unless this is used as a catalyst for beginning/ending a relationship (see: Grey’s Anatomy)
* All great doctors begin with zero (or negative) levels of self-confidence. If you are a new doctor and are confident in your medical decisions, you will immediately kill a patient.
* As a doctor ages, he/she becomes increasingly cranky and/or dependent on alcohol. No exceptions.
* Nurses don’t do shit. It is pointless to learn their names.
* However, when they’re not busy doing nothing, the job of nurses is to illustrate how utterly incompetent the young doctors are (in which case, they know far more than the doctors and regularly perform complex medical procedures on patients, i.e. open heart surgery, in place of a young, frightened doctor).
* Rounds only occur sporadically, when the doctors feel like it, or an interesting case needs to be presented.
* When a patient dies, the best course of action for a doctor to take is to immediately become shit-faced in order to deal with the trauma.
* In order to just avoid a patient’s death altogether, it’s best not to learn the patient’s name or any pertinent information about the patient. Death only occurs after the doctor makes a personal attachment to the patient.
* Doctors only work in three places: teaching hospitals, private clinics that are ridiculously understaffed yet miraculously not overworked (see: the Private Practice clause), or in war-torn nations far, far away
* If a young doctor is the child of another doctor, the parent doctor will always, always have been famous, incredibly gifted, a pioneer in his/her field, and unfaithful to his/her spouse. Also, young doctors always work in the same hospital as their parent doctor.
* Doctors can basically do their residencies wherever the hell they want, unless being placed in an undesirable location is more interesting.
* Contrary to the general public’s belief in “specialties,” doctors are trained in all aspects of medicine, i.e. dermatologists can perform lung transplants and gastroenterologists can deliver babies)
* Medical procedures that are generally performed in hospitals are also easily adaptable to being performed “in the field.” This includes, but is not limited to: setting broken limbs, delivering babies, intubation and drilling burr holes in a patient’s skull to alleviate intracranial pressure (see: the Grey’s Anatomy).
* Any lay person can be easily “talked through” any of these medical procedures: setting broken limbs, delivering babies, intubation using a standard Bic pen and Swiss Army knife (don’t forget to hold it under your Zippo for a few minutes to sterilize it!) and drilling burr holes in a patient’s skull (clean your drill bits afterwards!)
* The average wait time for an organ transplant is roughly 27 minutes.
* CPR is only effective at restoring the heart’s pumping function after the doctor has tearfully given up and ever-so-slowly looks at the clock to call Time of Death. As the doctor opens his or her mouth to speak, the heart will resume beating, at a normal rhythm.

Please note that this list is certainly not comprehensive by any means. I recommend you view episodes of ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, Three Rivers, Chicago Hope, Mercy and Trauma to learn more.
Or, you know, go to fucking medical school.

Rest in peace, Vic.

“I’m Through” / Vic Chesnutt (2003)
This song sounds a lot different now. Rest in peace, Vic.

sotd 12.28

“Today” / Joshua Radin (2006)
Sweet, no?

writer’s blockage leading to writer’s infarction.

For my online “Writer’s Creative Bullshittery Workshop” course, my next assignment is to write a two-paragraph (two paragraph!) description of “The Room in which I Write.”

And as is often my style, I can’t. I just fucking can’t write anything descriptive about this damn room.

I think perhaps the instructor should instead label the “assignments” as “mere suggestions.” I think this might cure what ails me.

For the record, the Room In Which I Write is the childhood bedroom I had for about 12 years. It is nothing if not interesting.


Also, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work I go.
(Always wondered why it was spelled phoenetically. Why not “hi-ho”?)
Also, how the hell do you spell that word? Phoenitic? Phoenetic? Phoenaetic? DAMN YOU, RED SQUIGGLE LINE!
<goes to >
Oh. Phonetic. Phonetically.
Too simple. I dislike.

Oscillation around the tree of Navidade

Oh that was TOO much fun. I couldn’t resist doing another one:
“Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”

Oscillation around the tree of navidade
in the jump of the celebration of Christmas
Muérdago hung where you can see
each pair tries to stop
oscillation around the Christmas tree
it leaves the ring of the alcohol of Christmas
we’ later; ll has a little pasty of pumpkin and makes caroling certain

you will obtain a little sentimental when you hear
it express ” of the song; Let’ s is jolly”
” covered the corridors with the branches with holly”
rocking around the Christmas tree
it has a happy holiday
each happy dance
of the new old-fashioned way

Bells of Cascabeleo

Jingle Bells, as passed through English-to-Spanish then Spanish-to-English translation:

estrellazo through the snow
in a horse it abra the sleigh
on the fields we go
laughter until the end

bells in the ring of bobtails
doing drunk spirited brilliants
what diversion is to laugh and to sing
a song sleighing tonight

bells of cascabeleo of the cascabeleo bells
cascabeleo until the end
oh what diversion is to mount
in a horse it abra the sleigh