Friday, December 14, 2012

the queen of france says: Non!

regarding the burgeoning brouhaha over the new UC logo, i, the queen of france, come down on the side of the proverbial french prof's sine qua non:  "non, non, non, et... non!"

there are those who would argue that the proverbial french prof's sine qua non is actually the triplicate of no, "non, non, et non," but they are wrong.  also, native speakers disagree.

i mean, really, folks, from this to that?

oh, excusez-moi, i forgot to share the intricate and catchy manner of how the new logo was born.  prepare to be bedazzled:

the new... thing... evokes visions of extreme roto-rootering or republican misunderestimated notions of what the (female) uterus might look like.

(a whole other post is necessary to unpack their gerbalized visions of male uteri.)

also, doesn't it call up a failed tsunami warning that might go perfectly as signage by a frequently avalanched overhang along the pacific coast highway?

or maybe a reminder to put your partial or whole artificial teeth parts into a fizzing cleaning solution.

i may have worn skin-tight pants, lots of black, no bra, and a new hair style every week whilst honing my wits up and down telegraph avenue -- hell, i may have quivered provocatively just below the heels of the hep boots of derrida and foucault, full of shameless and misguided frissons -- but the traditions of the place held, and hold, a secret allure as well.  touching the lineage of jack weinberg, mario savio, suzanne goldberg, richard aoki (i refuse to believe the fbi turned him). and -- above all -- the polka-dot man, did not mean that i also gave up on the iconic victorian reminder of the need for light, and books.

and yeah, i, the feline queen of the snobbish polygon, am a secret fan of john robinson, who shoved off the pilgrims from their home shores with this assurance: "God has yet more light and truth to break forth out of his holy Word."

plus.jacques and michel weren't such hep cats, after all, turning out to be mortal, scared, and more pro than anti anything.

the queen of france has spoken.

also, "even gavin newsom thinks the new u.c. logo sucks," and as this lieutenant governor and voting mrmber of the reified board of regents put it: "Instead of being creative with the University of California logo we should be searching for creative solutions for funding the University of California."

the queen of france always slithers back into her bathwater on a note of gravitas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

yes, the river really does know

Hi, all.  

The buzz around Marlinspike Hall has been all about how I have adroitly ducked out of doing any work on The Manor -- where everyone is all a-flutter due to an upcoming Haddock Corporation Inspection [We're expecting a flotilla of pink miniature submarines surfacing in the moat -- which, despite Fred's superhuman efforts, still has a kind of neon emerald algae overgrowth going on -- at any time.  "At any time" refers equally well to our  algae overgrowth chronicity as to the possibility of a herd of pink submarines popping up, full of corporate suits and a swearing Captain Haddock.]  Anyway, yeah, I ditched my usual slave labor in favor of a stay at the local hospital, the Lone Hospital West of the Lone Alp here in Tête de Hergé.

Everything these days, from internet orders to a simple request for some apple cider from the Cistercian Brothers right next door, carries an "order number." Well, at the hospital, I wore so many of those fashionable little plastic bracelets that they decided to revert to the old "case" shorthand.  I became "the case of the missing hemoglobin."

It was just an upper g.i. bleed, and without benefit of supplementary blood products, I have returned to my post here at The Manor with a hemoglobin of 9 and a solid hematocrit of 20-something.  I'm getting no sympathy from anyone, just glares for my shirking-of-duty ways.

They decided to let me go late last evening when it became clear that my pain management and general overall comfort would be better managed by getting me the heck out of a place where people are just hardwired to TOUCH the patients, God bless 'em.  Even though they were bound by their own set of internally ultra-rigid rules -- "you can have the pain medication in another 2 hours and 4 minutes!" -- they were truly understanding of the situation, and together we decided the best place to be was... home.

Which leads me to what I hope will be accepted as a quiet understatement, despite any verbal tendencies that may have led my dedicated readers to assume me incapable of quiet understatement:  Working with the admitting doctor, we were able to pretty easily have me placed on a "No Code" status and discussed possibly making use of some of hospice care's gentler gifts. This just goes to supplement the legal documents I already have in place but which, quite honestly, are often ignored.  It's much more effective to have it written as an order in the chart, and to have the secret not-so-secret orange band placed upon the wrist.

And so, of course, I came nowhere near coding and am home with my robust Hgb of 9 and a hell-hole of pain, since all anti-inflammatories are now forbidden, seeing as how they made me bleed in an unholy manner, that momentous bit of decision-making really did turn out to be a quiet one, momentous for me in that it was so easy and not fraught with emotion or argument.  I suppose it should be a bit depressing that the doctors didn't see much point in arguing with me, and that I saw a bit of "whew!" relief in their eyes, but it's not at all saddening.  The nurses were a different story -- they felt that if I had the right kind of pain relief, POOF, everything would be fine.  "Have you tried a heating pad?" asked one particularly kind, particularly inexperienced new nurse, on her very first evening shift without being "shadowed" be another nurse-mentor.

That's the sure DNR fix:  a heating pad.  It was hard to know what to say to her without bursting her first-night-working-alone bubble.  I explained that heating pads and ice were both contraindicated but "that sure is a good idea."  She was the *only* person I encountered, though, with whom I had the Usual Conversation:

ME:  Please don't touch my legs.  Thanks.
NEW NURSE:  [while touching feet]  I won't.
NEW NURSE:  [feeling for pedal pulses] I'M NOT!
ME:  {whispering} Please, please, please don't touch my feet.
NEW NURSE:  I'm not, I'm just checking for pedal pulses.  It's part of my assessment.

Don't ask me.  I don't get it, either.  All I know is that I was BLESSED to have it happen only once.  I got the feeling that while I was under "conscious sedation" for the upper g.i. scope, my legs were pretty well checked out.  I swear I could be brought into the emergency room with an arrow through my head and my nose where my ear should be and the first area of interest would be my legs.

It borders on the absurd (o, puh-leeze, it inhabits the heart of absurdity), but they sent in the damned wound care "team"-- they travel in packs -- to investigate the patch of raw skin on one of my toes, a patch that would not have been there had I not made the mistake of scrubbing my feet with Hibiclens prior to hopping into Ruby the Honda CRV for the trip to the ER.  The bruising that has been there for over 5 years was much "ooohed-and-aaahhhhed" over, until I suggested a layer of gauze and a light application of paper tape, which my nurse and i promptly removed upon their self-satisfied departure.

We should start a pool to see what the Wound Care Consult and "treatment" charges turn out to be.  I wager somewhere in the region of $600 but that's lowballing it.

Fred was a trooper.  He did the best he's ever done and I am really, really proud of him.  The DNR discussion was hard, but we did it, and it's over. I hope.  I had to have the same discusssion with Brother-Unit Grader Boob, as he is my health care proxy in case Fred craps out or is unavailable at the necessary time.  That was harder, as silence on the phone -- I HATE PHONES -- can be difficult to interpret.

For you, TW, this is that conversation.  One-sided.  But somehow, I thought and think that you will most easily understand it for what it is:  The River knows.

The Doors; Yes, The River Knows 
Uploaded on Aug 3, 2009 by jameshippiekid
Waiting for the Sun 


So... give me a few days to get stronger and I shall regale you with hilarious tales of funny and terrific nurses and some of the sweetest docs I've ever met.

Unless I die earlier than necessary because the Domestic Staff has me scrubbing one of the ballroom parquet floors with a soft toothbrush.

Please believe me the river told me
Very softly want you to hold me

Free fall flow, river flow on and on it goes
Breath under water till the end
Free fall flow, river flow on and on it goes
Breath under water till the end
Yes, the river knows

Please believe me if you don't need me
I'm going, but I need a little time
I promised I would drown myself
In masticated wine

Please believe me the river told me
Very softly want you to hold me

I'm going, but I need a little time
I promised I would drown myself
In masticated wine

Free fall flow, river flow on and on it goes
Breath under water till the end
Free fall flow, river flow on and on it goes
Breath under water till the end