Friday, April 23, 2010

Doo Dah Band and Death Cab for Cutie

Dang. You can teach an old dog new tricks. 

I was in the car with Teddy Bear and Mr. Guitar Player (who really plays the guitar well) driving home from dinner. The song "I Will Possess Your Heart" came on by Death Cab for Cutie. 

Okay, what kind of name is Death Cab for Cutie and how on earth did they come up with that. Mr Guitar Player knew exactly where the name came from....The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band from the 1960s. They did a song called "Death Cab for Cutie" produced by Paul McCartney no less. 


I swear I think I was sleepwalking through the 1960s and 1970s. Teddy Bear knows the music from that era better than I do. Well, she knows the bands and who's who, but the songs bring back vivid memories. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon...well, I'm sure the memories are good but I was either drunk or stoned and so they are rather vague. 

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday, so I will be down in San Diego playing with the family. Maybe we will hear the Mexican version of the doo-dah band...

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

G'ma Fail

I am the oldest of five...with three younger brothers. You would think I would know how to rough house with the best of them. But, apparently, I don't.

When I was young watching my brothers "play" together, I thought they were the biggest dopes. They would roll around the floor hollering and carrying on like they were taking each others head off. Strangling, screaming, yelling, punching. Yeah, I thought they were a strange species of human being that my poor mother was inflicted with and was too nice to send them back. They would fight and play and would get hurt. Like, duh. But what I thought was unbelievably moronic was they would go running to mom to seek retribution. 

Even back then I thought to myself, if they were my kids, I would have hit their heads together to render them unconscious. Did they really think my mom was stupid? Like she hadn't just been listening to their mayhem and nonsense and no way was she picking a side? She would yell at both of them and they would sniffle and get bent out of shape at the total unfairness of moms...and then go back to playing. 

I truly thought boys were the most irrational things in the world for years. 

Now, it is coming back to haunt me. I babysat my grandson today, two year old Z, and I realize being a girl is definitely a strike against me. His dad is one of seven...five of them boys, so little Z has tons of uncles who love to play rough. And my ex totally is the love of his life. Papa has a hangar for his plane and I guess he takes Z there and they run around and play like crazy.  I always used to call it the play house for big boys. 

We walked to the park. Well, he got spooked by some girls and made me carry him and push his little car at the same time. Man, those mom muscles are atrophied. He ran up the steps, hung from the top of the slide, and I thought he was going to pitch himself off the top. I was having a coronary. Do you stay at the bottom to catch him? Do you stay on the top to stop them? Do you have any idea how long it has been since I went down a slide? I am positive I have slide burn. 

But I was he marched off to his little car and proceeded to push it all over the neighborhood. Did you know two year olds will throw themselves to the sidewalk just to check out what's underneath a car? He had to point to every tire we went by and tell me to "Look at dat." 

We made it to his house, I made him lunch, he pretended to eat it. Then a smell started to waft around me. A stench of suspicious origin. Uh oh. I should probably tell you that the older I get the worse my gag reflex gets and, oh no, it was starting to kick in. 

"Z, I need to change your diaper." 

He ran away and hid in the living room. I finally managed to corral him and pretended he was a rocket and he let me carry him into the family room but he was not all that pleased with me. 

Until I started to change his diaper. 

Oh my, he was belly laughing. I thought for sure he was going to pee in my face he was laughing so hard. Why? Because G'ma was gagging and coughing and her eyes were running. He thought that was absolutely the funniest thing ever. And that's when it hit me....

Oh my god, he has been taken over by an alien species.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

New Patient History and Physical

Patient Name: Happy Hour...Somewhere

Date: April 9, 2010

Chief Complaint: Ennui. 

History of Present Illness: The patient is a slightly overweight 52-year-old female who appears somewhat jittery and tends to perseverate on what is wrong. Tended to go off on wild tangents and ramble. She said she has been bored for the last several months. When pressed on the issue, she claims she has to be bored because she is starting to know more reality TV people than real people. RuPaul's Drag Race is the bomb. The Real Housewives of New York drive her crazy but she cannot stop watching. Will Jill pull her head out of her arse? Will Bethenny ever shut up? Will LuAnn shed her skin? Will Ramona finally have her head spin off? Will Alex realize Simon is gay? (I will have to investigate this further.) At this point, I had to bring the patient back to reality (ha, ha) and continue with the evaluation. 

Past medical history: Usual childhood illnesses. History of breaking a windshield with her head, which may explain a lot. 

Past surgical history: Something about tubes and baby factory closed down...probable tubal ligation. 

Medications: None but badly in need of something. 

Allergies: No known drug allergies but totally seems allergic to keeping her story straight. 

Social history: No smoking history but I smelled cigarettes on her. She said she just snuck a puff from her friend's son. Claim to drink alcohol rarely but wears a Jack Daniels t-shirt. I would say she is a moderate drinker. 

Review of systems: Patient checked off no to everything....whatever. 

Physical Examination: 
General: A slightly overweight, somewhat anxious, 52-year-old female who appears her stated age. (The patient was a little huffy with this assessment.)

Vital signs: Weight: Patient refused to get on scale and got quite belligerent with the staff. Claims we always lie and step on the scale when she is not looking so she weighs more. (Possible paranoia?) Height: Short. Blood pressure: Through the roof. Pulse: Whoa boy! 

Head: Small, slightly pointy. Old bump on forehead. 
Eyes: Check thyroid as eyes are slightly buggy. Pupils dilated. (Perform random urine drug screen.)
Ears: Possible hearing loss as her kids claim she never listens. 
Nose: Pollybeak deformity.
Throat: Turkey wattle deformity. 

Skin: Pasty. Vampire like. 

Genitourinary: She said the next man that got a gander at her happy place better not be slapping a speculum there. 

Rectal: The patient said "as if." 

Musculoskeletal: Moved all 4 extremities well but a little spastic. Reflexes slightly hyperreflexic. 

Neurologic: Cranial nerves II-XII are intact except for hearing. Failed memory test. Had no idea of the date. Wanted to know if it was 2012 yet and something about the end of the world. 

Radiographic studies: MRI of the head showed nothing. Ditto a CT scan. 

Diagnosis:   Ennui.

Assessment and plan: 
1.   Boring people are bored. 
2.   Get out. Do Happy Hour at least once a week. 
3.   Sit at the coffee shop with your friends once a week. 
4.   Get outside. Told the patient she would not sparkle or turn into dust.
5.   Take the dang dog for a walk. 

Signed by Dr. Know It All

See, this is why I never go to the doctor. They write fiction. 

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Sometimes It Pays to Look Stupid

Do you ever look back and wonder how you made to the age you are now? How on earth can someone that dumb have made it? No?


Have you ever been stuck on the side of a freeway? When you suddenly realize just how fast 80 mph is and you hope you don't end up like the bugs on your front bumper?

I was listening to the radio and the guy was talking about the goings at Griffith Park. Some sort of shenanigans in the bushes. Now, I'm sure his shenanigans were different than the ones I experienced. 

Picture it. Around Mother's Day...sometime in the early '80s. (My frontal lobes refuse to cough up the date.) We are taking my mom to a play in Los Angeles. I am following the crew in my 1984 Honda Accord, affectionately known as Suzie the Squirrel Killer. Headed east on the 134 getting ready to transition to the 5 southbound. Right there near Forest Lawn, the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park. It is Sunday morning so it is quiet. Hardly any traffic. 

And Suzie decides to drop her nut basket. She just coughs and dies. I firmly believe that I have an overworked and underpaid guardian angel because I coast into a big dirt turn out with a Call Box phone right in front of me. It is almost comical to think how antiquated those seem now in the era of cell phones. I try to restart Suzie but she will have none of that and my family is oblivious to the fact that I am no longer behind them. 

I am dressed in nice cream colored slacks and silky shirt and really nice shoes....totally different than my usual jeans and sneakers. I feel so stupid. I walk to the Call Box and try to figure out how it works. The nice lady who answers is pretty emphatic. Are you on the freeway or pulled over to the side? I tell her I am in a turn out and she sounds relieved. I am told to get back in my car and put on my seat belt and someone will be on their way. 

Thank heaven it is a nice day. I get back in the car, put on my seat belt, roll down the windows and start to turn on the radio. D'oh! Car broken. Probably for the first time in my life my car is not littered with at least 5 books. (I used to think of my car as a giant purse back then.) This is going to be soooooooo borrrriiiinnnngggg. 

As I sit there feeling sorry for myself, a car pulls into the turn out. It is a big area and the car is at least 100 feet away. Do you remember when cars were the size of aircraft carriers? With trunks that could easily fit a Mini Cooper? Well, that's what pulls in behind me. A big man gets out of his car. Hollywood could not have picked a more cheesy stereotype of scary guy. 

Gulp. Trying not to look like I just had the shit scared out of me, I try to ever so casually roll up my windows. You know, I mean really ROLL up the windows, like in the olden days. I manage to do it and lock my doors and I start sweating like mad. I look in my rear view mirror. He is looking at me and smirking. He reaches back into his car, picks something up, and then closes his door. 


He is putting on a pair of work gloves. ohmygod. ohmygod. ohmygod. I'm going to die and no one will ever know what happened to me!

Mr. Goon puts on his gloves, walks to the ginormous trunk and opens it up. Probably looking for rope and duct tape. He fiddles around a little while. 

I on the other hand look like I have been hypnotized by a snake. I'm sure my mouth is hanging open but I can't move a muscle. When it comes to fight or flight, I chose the third option....pretend you're a statue. 

He walks out from behind his car and walks toward the bushes. What??? He is digging around in there for a while. What is he doing? He walks back to his trunk carrying wrapped packages of something. He goes back and forth. Back and forth. Did UPS drop a load of his in the bushes? What is he doing and what are those packages? 

He finishes his groping in the bushes and shuts the trunk. He takes off his gloves. Okay, maybe I'm going to live after all. He doesn't want fingerprints on my throat, right?

He gets in his car, starts his engine, adjusts his mirror to check himself out, and starts to drive away. As he passes me, he looks over at me. That sonofabitch actually looks like he is trying not to laugh. 

Do you know how many years later did I realize just what the heck he was up to? Little packages of cocaine or heroin. (I don't think it was weed.) Can you imagine if I had had to take a whizz and went into the bushes and tinkled on their stuff? Light tan bricks of urine flavored coke? I still have a heart attack thinking about it.

I can only guess that I must have looked clueless, gullible, and oblivious enough to reality so he figured he had nothing to worry about. 

Like I said, sometimes it pays to at least look stupid.

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