Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Choppers! Posted by Picasa

The Chattering

There's going to be a pause around here - and I mean a real one, not a merely lazy, distracted one - as I move and am attacked by dentists and oral surgeons (nice guys, but they are going to do phenomenal damage - though they might call it repair). I'm usually pretty good about this kind of stuff, apart from putting it off so long that it balloons into a major project. It's almost assured that my head is going to balloon a couple of times, and I probably deserve it. The finished product will be, however, dazzling. Perhaps not Martin Amis dazzling (or gruesome), but we'll just have to find out.

In the meantime, please check out the launch yesterday of And They Cook, Too - a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders. I have a couple of entrées in, and having reviewed the contents pre-launch, can vouch for the overall deliciousness - it's a huge boost for me to be included in company like this, as both writers and cooks. Once I get my kitchen reconstituted (and am able to chew), I'll be working on some new stuff. Friends, family, dinner guests - be warned!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To their right praise and true perfection! Posted by Picasa

How many things by season season'd are...

And here I interrupt. Got less than 36 hours before this long season is ended, and I don't feel well-seasoned at all for the next. There's the adrenaline-junkie side my most recent shrink saw, and then there's the antiquarian sensibility one of my school advisors saw; it's an odd kind of conflict. As often as I wanted to escape the fences patient care put around me, I will miss this house, this place, the routines Val and I made up - song and dance and patter - to give life a shape. I think we succeeded pretty well, certainly enough that when she left it, she wasn't leaving chaos.

For me, if it wasn't still unseasonably gloomy and damp out, I'd be dazzled by the light. I am dazzled, in fact, and for the time being must put up with it. It's Spring again, after all - just a little late this year.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Remember the Alamo! Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday [Week]

For res, and for all the other beloveds who hang out in the Republic. Arf! [see above.]

Florence Green is 81 Posted by Picasa

Up in the Air, Aloft

And, yes, that's an homage to Donald Barthelme. It's also how I'm feeling right now, suspended, and in suspense. There's a dentist appointment this afternoon. There is a sibling confrontation this afternoon. They are joined (take that, Jeffrey Masson!), and only in the afterglow of their unholy congress will I be able to take my bearings and figure out what needs to be done in the next ten days. A real 3-way.
I always loved tha opening of Snow White, where Snow and the dwarfs took lovely showers together, before the boys marched off to wash buildings and make Chinese Baby Food....
Où sont les neiges d'antin?

Now, back to editing The Journal of Sensory Deprivation.

See you this evening.

Friday, March 10, 2006


After last week's Decompression/Limbo Contest, the fun this week has been getting the jobs/housing/moving projects in gear (I am thinking of something resembling Howl's Moving Castle...) - and that's left little time for posts. This will be corrected this weekend.

On Wednesday, Noodley left for his new life, with a gift baggie of his toys, treats and bones, and our patient's two favorite small blankets (which, I assure you, he knows very well). Something familiar to burrow into. The farewell was dry-eyed, but warm - can't guarantee what will happen when I see him again, though. Reunions could be weekly.

Thanks to my readers for all the comments and mails these last two weeks - you are all golden.

[Update: Dropped in on Noodley Friday afternoon (he has a whole needlepoint shop to patrol now), and his sang-froid was remarkable - boy is not pining at all. His new mistress is a bit disconcerted by his aplomb - compared to more slavish canines, N seems to her inexpressive. She is also discovering his native dachshund stubborness. To me, he is looking comfortable, a bit miffed at all the changes in his life, but putting up with the inevitable. Good boy!

Having been sequestered with me and the Old Lady for such a long time, I am eager to find out how he responds to the society of the Dog Park - nearly 6 years old and never met a bitch in heat....hmmmmm. Late bloomer.]

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Never Underestimate Pooch Power.... Posted by Picasa


Time to come up for some air. It's very strange to have been suddenly let off the leash; 24/7 patient care forces you to accommodate to all sorts of personal restrictions, you get used to them, and, when they are removed (especially as you seek new gigs and digs), it's pretty disorienting. I still have a gigantic sleep debt, for example, and I have needed to make up at least a small part of that if I am going to run around like a maniac in the next few weeks, taking care of business.

Before all of that fascinating stuff gets fully underway, however, I have to pay tribute to my partner, the doggie who was here when I arrived, who became an ever more adept therapist, companion and friend throughout my tenure. I posted about him last year, and everything I said then is still true. I can happily add that he's gained new respect from his titular owners in the meantime. He's still stuck with the ridiculous name - Noodles - (where the hell did that come from? The DeNiro character in Once Upon a Time in America? I don't think so...) - but he will always be my Noodley.

As our patient got weaker and weaker, he became ever more attentive, warming her body, giving her morning kisses. He couldn't spend nights with her, but he spent most of every day, and after she died last Friday, he would run downstairs and post himself under her (now empty) hospital bed, or take a post at the front door, under the misapprehension that she was out for a clinic visit. Neither of us could immediately persuade ourselves that she was gone. When the baby-monitor was still plugged in and active, both of us leapt to attention if we heard a Val sound - "Let's go help Mom!" I'd say to him and we'd be off. Ten seconds and we'd be there. This past weekend I kept thinking I'd heard her, when that was impossible. He knew better, but he'd cock his head, anyway, when I'd turn mine, and he probably sensed when she intruded in my dreams, too.

He's been my buffer and teammate - a surrogate for the kind of emotional attachment with my patient that would have endlessly complicated doing my job. I cannot overvalue his contributions, or recommend highly enough the services of an intelligent, loyal, sensitive animal as a caregiving helper. So this is for Noodley. He's fully worthy of the Gromit pic, above.

[We watched Curse of the Were-Rabbit last weekend, and enjoyed it immensely!]