Saturday, February 28, 2009


Had to deal with the (insert string of expletives here) cable company this morning. As have most other American-owned multinational corporations, they've outsourced their call center to India.

I give the gentleman my last name and spell it for him. This guy in a THICK Indian accent says, "That's a Polish name, right?" I laughed and said yes.

He said, "My grandfather's name was Michalski."

(Cue the "It's a Small World" music.)

I've spent the rest of the day trying to figure out what a part-Polish Indian guy might look like! :-)

Now playing: Beck - Orphans
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

cognitive dissonance.

How horrible it must be, in this day of Twitter and live-blogging and whatnot, to cover your own funeral in real time instead of getting a day to think about it.

And how horrible it must be to come to work one day and find out not just *your* job, but the whole damn staff's jobs, are going to disappear -- ::POOF!:: -- in 24 hours.

RIP, Rocky Mountain News.

A couple notes from their Twitter feed:

# Boehne: "We are deeply sorry." Reporter says in background, "Pay my mortgage." (about 2 hours ago from TweetDeck)

# One reporter joked quietly about throwing a shoe at Scripps execs.

That's how you tell they're good journos -- they maintain that black sense of humor at all costs. ;-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

more (mostly health-related) randomness.

-- Medical office waiting rooms are among the best places in the world to get sick.

-- Second to that is being exposed to someone who deals with the public on a fairly intimate basis and decides to come to work hacking and sniffling. (I'm looking at YOU, Ms. Haircutter!)

-- Why must people insist there's a difference between "tenacious" and "stubborn"? It annoys people no matter what you call it.

-- Why is it that physicians almost universally have won the genetic lottery as well? Isn't it enough they got all the brains?

-- Four words: HEALTH. CARE. REFORM. NOW. Try getting timely access to rather important care when you have no insurance. I've been walking around for the last week with an INR (blood thinner level) of NINE, which is "your blood has the consistency of water and can't be stopped if you cut yourself or fall, causing internal injuries, so just don't get out of bed."

I found this out on Thursday and was told to stop taking the med and come back today to get retested. (The free clinic is only open on Tuesday nights.)

But, there's no way to process it onsite, so they won't have results probably before Thursday again. And while uber-thin blood is a bad idea, do you really want someone who's had 4 clots to be off meds for a week? At this point, I'm guessing my level will come back too low.

I suppose I should be grateful I have the opportunity to have this checked at all, and I am. But DAMN it was a lot easier when I could go to a clinic open 8-5 and have them call me an hour later with results and dosage adjustments.

Hasn't been a good medical day. Pissed off my therapist, too. ;-)

-- What do you imagine the parents who named their son "Keno" must have been like?

Honestly: Keno?!

Maybe he was conceived in Vegas, who knows. But that's a helluva thing to saddle a kid with forever.

Now playing: Colbie Caillat - Realize
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 23, 2009

you people have NOOOOO idea what you're missing.

Being Friends with a Cyborg Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

Friend #1: My friend told me that in Wisconsin they deep-fry cheese curds.
Friend #2: What's "cheese curds"?
Friend #3: Kurds are a perennially oppressed ethnic minority group found in parts of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey.

--East Village (from

Here's an explanation, because people who don't know what they are always flip out over the name, and a picture.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


--Had to go to the clinic last night for labs. I took off my sweatshirt (never fear, this far north you learn how to layer), but that still left heavy jeans, wallet and keys in the pockets, it was nighttime, and I'd just finished a large glass of tea.

So why did THEIR scale put me at 8 lbs. LIGHTER than mine did this morning, pre-shower, pre-food, etc?

Don't get me wrong, I'll take it -- but once again, you get what you pay for, and I only paid $10 for that scale at Walgreens.

(As long as we're on the subject, an update on the $4 haircut I complained about a month or so ago: It's grown out both rapidly and badly and already needs to be cut again. Blah.)

--Who wants the challenge of helping me write a 140-character resume to put up on Twitter? One of the tweeters I follow is soliciting them from displaced journos (as a public service, I suppose).

--Icicles are scary-looking. (I'm staring at dozens of them hanging from the roof of the house next door.)

(When I was a little kid, btw, I used to think it was "next-STORE neighbor" instead of "next-door." Then again, my sister Terese convinced me that the first line of the national anthem was "Jose, can you see..." and that there truly was some guy named Jose sitting at the top of a flagpole somewhere, singing it 24/7. She also told me that when it thunders, Harold the Angel -- who likes to bowl, but sucks at it -- had just rolled another gutterball in heaven. Oh, and let's not forget the "Grand Cannon," which I had pictured as some gargantuan Civil War weapon instead of a gargantuan geologic formation.

I grew up to become a professional skeptic. Imagine. :-D)

--I'm avoiding doing things that will actually net me money. Can you tell? :-)

sign of the times.

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association has listed industry help-wanted ads on its website for approximately forever. They're updated weekly.

Except, for the last 2 weeks -- there haven't been ANY. Zip, zero, nada.

Sadness. :-\

Now playing: Louis Prima - I Love You Truely
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

trying to buy it.

Gabe Dixon Band, "All Will Be Well"

GDB live
The new day dawns,
And I am practicing my purpose once again.
It is fresh and it is fruitful if I win but if I lose,
Oooooo I don’t know.
I will be tired but I will turn and I will go,
Only guessing til I get there then I’ll know,
Oh oh oh I will know.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true,
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

The winter’s cold,
But the snow still lightly settles on the trees.
And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know,
That all will be well.
Even though sometimes this is hard to tell,
And the fight is just as frustrating as hell
All will be well.

All the children walking home past the factories,
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

Keep it up and don’t give up
And chase your dreams and you will find
All in time.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true,
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

You can ask me how but only time will tell.

Now playing: The Gabe Dixon Band - All Will Be Well
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

inquiring minds want to know:

Who needs to watch ESPN so desperately that they'll put a flat-panel plasma TV in the john?

Just sayin'.

(It was at a restaurant with a healthy bar, but still.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


This is the best cause I've heard of in eons. Animals already have plenty of help. Let's save some abandoned words!

So far I've adopted "quaeritate" and "ducenarious." Quaeritate deals with asking questions -- an obvious one for me -- and ducenarious is "relating to two hundred," which has nothing to do with anything, but I like the sound of it. :-)

Save the Words

Now playing: Duncan Sheik - Shopping
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, February 7, 2009

seen and heard, part 2

Well, I guess the only "heard" part was my chuckling.

--Only in northern Wisconsin: Guy had some sort of critter tail -- a raccoon, I think -- and two paws tied to the antenna of his truck. I am here to tell you they were NOT fake. I won't tell you how I know the butt end of the critter wasn't fake unless you ask, 'cause it's kinda gross.

--Grocery store parking lot: Next to a spot with a sign that said "parking for senior citizens only," there was one that said "parking for expectant mothers only." It was literally twice the width of a normal parking spot. I wasn't sure whether to be offended, so I chose to laugh, but then I got to thinking: People in wheelchairs and stuff have all kinds of paraphernalia to contend with, and handicapped spots are always just the normal-sized ones nearest the door. Why is the grocery store singling out women who already feel like whales?

I have camera-phone pix of both, but have to figure out how to upload them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

you never know what's gonna stick.

In all the thinking I did while I was tossing and turning earlier instead of sleeping, I got to thinking about that which has formed me, for better or worse. Believe it or not, that led to thinking about state mottos. (Yeah, I'm weird. Don't you know that by now? :-)

I grew up in Kansas, the motto of which is "ad astra per aspera," or in an actual living language, "to the stars through difficulties."

What a helluva way to sum up my life to date. That's what I've always tried to do. My ability and my ambition have yet to match up, which has caused me great frustration. I've always thought I should be in a better place than I am, at this point of my life particularly. I had much higher expectations for myself. I beat up on myself a lot for being so far behind my peers, for opportunities squandered, for questionable decisions made. A lot of it was out of my control, but a lot of it wasn't. I wish I could relax and be happy with what I've got, but I feel like there's always one more hurdle to be jumped, and then, as soon as I jump it, another one pops up. Life is one endless hurdle.

After Kansas, I headed to Missouri (state motto: Show Me). Nuff said there ;-) -- anyone who knows me knows how stubborn I am.

For the last 12 years I've been in Wisconsin -- state motto: Forward. I wonder when I'm going to take it to heart. :-\

Now playing: Ingrid Michaelson - The Chain [Live from Webster Hall]
via FoxyTunes

more typing out loud

So earlier tonight I watched this Lou Grant episode where he finds out he has thyroid cancer and has to get his thyroid taken out. There has been a lot of chatter on the industry blogs lately about this show, mostly of the "geeze, remember the good ol' days?" variety, and I had to think the same thing after seeing this one.

Specifically, the part where Mrs. Pynchon (the owner/publisher, based not-at-all loosely on Kay Graham, former owner/publisher of the Washington Post) came to Lou's office to ask how he was feeling about the upcoming surgery made me sad. She told him that anything she or the newspaper had that he needed was his, and gave him a hug.

I can't see that happening today. Lord knows it's the opposite of my most recent experience. I think compassion in newspapers went out the window when big corporations came in. Now they've run both the papers and the people into the ground, and everybody's a loser. It sucks.

I did have to laugh about how everybody in the whole newsroom found out Lou's test results in nothing flat, though. HIPAA regulations today wouldn't allow for that!

Now playing: Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK
via FoxyTunes

learning to be lonely.

You know? What is there to say, really. It's February. There's piles of snow on the ground. We're still having single digit temps. You can't walk out the door with a body part uncovered or it will freeze in nothing flat. And DAMN, if it isn't depressing.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and my conclusions rather disturb me. As in, it's finally occurred to me, after living by myself (with 2 brief exceptions) since 1986 -- it's bad for me to be alone. Not only because when I'm sick as a dog and can't be more than 2 feet from a bathroom, there's no one to run out to buy me Imodium and saltines, but because I tend to be really broody, and that's a bad thing when you're chronically depressed to begin with. My mind goes to all sorts of dark places without someone to bounce things off of and remind me that I'm not totally worthless.

I've always prided myself on my independence. It sucks to admit I need people!

Now playing: Rebecca Rego - Mixed Rain and Snow
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

a tip for the medical types

Add me to the roster of the "stuck with drs. who don't give a shiat" club.

I understand -- really and truly, having been horribly overworked for years -- that when you put in a min. of an 8 hr day at your real job and then go give 4 hrs on top of that to poor people for free, that you might be tired by the end of the day. But dammit -- be nice to people anyway! Folks get whiny when they don't feel good. You should have figured that out in med school.

"I've been puking and (same thing from the other end) since 5 this morning (it's 8 pm)."

"You're fine."

"My glucometer broke and I haven't been able to check my sugars all day."

(Nurse did it before he saw me) -- "162, not that bad."

"I slammed my finger in the garage door. Look at that pretty shade of black."

"Nothing I can do about that. You're fine."

"Shouldn't I get my INR checked?"

"It's fine. Here's some Imodium. Dial back on the metformin for a couple days and stay hydrated. Bye."

Now, I also understand that lately I have been sucking up a lot of this clinic's resources and they undoubtedly are tired of seeing me every week. And I'm sure he wanted to go home. But dammit -- all I want is 1) to be taken care of and 2) to be taken seriously.


Monday, February 2, 2009

the things we do for fashion.

I owned these shoes, around the same time of this photo (late 1970s, I'd say). Except....except....oh, I can hardly bear to say it....mine were BROWN. As in, coffee-with-lots-of-cream brown and a poo-brown "swoosh." They were the coolest thing ever, and my dad bitched nonstop at Foot Locker about paying $40 for a pair of shoes. (Lucky for Dad, by the time Air Jordans came out, I was buying my own shoes....;-)

Now playing: Beck - Orphans
via FoxyTunes