Archive for May, 2011

Snarl

Posted in Uncategorized on May 13, 2011 by tom

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My friend and fellow curmudgeon, snoringKatZ, wrote a lovely post recently, describing a sad scene in her local Walgreen’s. An elderly lady was trying to get her prescriptions filled. The pharmacist patiently explained that, alas, her insurance would not cover the most expensive of her meds; the only way that medication would be covered is mail-order directly from the prescription insurance provider.

I have Aetna for my health insurance, and I have no complaints about them. When I had my little Fournier’s month, they paid for everything. Maybe I had a few copays, but I paid $200 or so. They paid the hundreds of thousands. God bless them

However, we have a separate prescription provider. If you are on a “maintenance” medication–like my antistabbyfeet pills–they cover them with a decent copay…for two months. After that, the copay triples. Unless you use their convenient mail-order service, wherefrom you can get a three-month supply dirt cheap. Woo-hoo!

So, last Monday (11 days ago), I had my monthly confab with my doctor. Yay. I like my doctor. He e-mailed my prescription directly to the pharmacy provider.

So last night (Wednesday night), I took my last anti-stabbyfeet pill. My three-month supply is still not here.

Oh fuck no.

So, I had my Walgreen’s fax my doc’s office, who promptly confirmed it. And this afternoon, right before work started, I got a message that my meds were ready.

Well, my stabbyfeet got predictably stabby about 10pm. By 1am, I was cashed. I left work 2 hours early. Peanut and I chatted for awhile–she wanted to drive me, since I was twitchy and pale–then I went to Walgreen’s. Evie the cute pharmacist was there. We chatted for a bit. I passed over my $25 copay, and came home with my meds. Via mail-order, I will get a three-month supply for that same $25.

The problem is, I DON’T HAVE IT! I don’t care if it’s a three-decade supply for $25, if it isn’t in my possession, I can’t put them in my mouth and swallow them, at which point they suppress my neuropathy pain.

It’s the same principle as making a fruit salad from my Farm Town grove bounty. I have beautiful stands of cherry, peach, apple, mango, banana, and snozzberry trees, all of them ripe and perfect, but I can’t eat them, because they aren’t real.

Same as this spectacular cache of antistabbyfeet meds, my fruit groves don’t effectively exist.

It’s messed up. As the adage goes, a neurontin in the bloodstream is worth 270 in some distant warehouse.

Happy Friday the 13th, and to all you friggatriskaidekaphobics…

BOO! ūüėČ

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Oh For Crying Out Loud

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2011 by tom

I read something many years ago about an elderly redneck who was hospitalized for something.¬† His doctors became concerned when the man didn’t “move his bowels” for a few days. Somebody realized that the poor guy hadn’t been chewing tobacco, as was his custom.¬† They brought the man some chew, he chawed contentedly, and crapped anon.

Draw from this anecdote what you will, but I haven’t written much worth a crap since Easter.¬† We could assign blame a couple of ways. One one hand,we could blame The Easter Bunny and/or Jesus. Honestly, the Easter Bunny and I have maintained a cordial det√©nte since our 2003 dust-up. Jesus, despite eating all my food and playing His music too loud… well He’s just all right with me.

Or we can posit that I haven’t been able to write because I haven’t had Casablanca playing.

Yup. I might be verbally constipated without Claude Rains’ crisp, perfect diction, Peter Lorre’s…well, whatever the hell you’d call his voice, and Bogie’s world-weary slur.

Poor Major Strasser. He got off the plane, and smiled quite genuinely when Captain Renault welcomed him to Casablanca. All I could think was, “You’re toast in 90 minutes, douchebag, and then I can sleep.”

I wonder if Major Strasser would have reformed after the war, had he not been kacked.

One of the former guitarists for Finland’s legendary glam-punk band Hanoi Rocks is named “Nasty Suicide.” I can just imagine his wedding announcement. “Mr and Mrs Thorbj√∂rn J√łrgesson and Mr and Mrs Harald Suicide are happy to announce the wedding of Sofia J√łrgesson and Nasty Suicide, Saturday at St Michael the Archangel Lutheran Church.¬† Ms J√łrgesson graduated from Helsinki University with a degree in Information Technology. Mr Suicide toured the world in a constant, decade-long haze of drugs and alcohol. After retiring from the music business, Mr Suicide cleaned up, ultimately earning his degree in Pharmacy. He now works for a major Finnish pharmaceuticals firm.¬† The Suicides will reside in Helsinki, following a honeymoon in Majorca.”

So if Nasty Suicide can become a pharmaceutical researcher–no, REALLY!–then perhaps Major Strasser could open a cafe, TGIHitler’s, maybe.

Reinventions are amazing when we can pull them off.¬† But sometimes, a hand comes stretching through the mists of Time and tears off our masks. Big deal–one of the researchers at Finnske Pharmaceuticals plays the occasional Hanoi Rocks reunion. And maybe after the Hanoi Rocks reunion, you stop by Strasser’s TGIHitler’s franchise for a Bacon Blitzkrieg Burger and a couple Albert Speer-Mint Schnapps shooters.

This morning, a German court found a 90 year-old retired U.S. Auto Worker guilty on 28,000 counts of accessory to murder. John Demjanjuk was previously convicted in Israel for being “Ivan the Terrible,” a notorious Nazi death camp guard. He was sentenced to death, however his conviction was overturned, because it turns out he wasn’t “Ivan the Terrible” after all.

I don’t know if he’s guilty. I don’t know what his conviction will accomplish.

At this point in my life, I feel like I’m in a state of self-reinvention.¬† Here, at the start of a new relationship, our pasts reach spectrally across the years. We revisit our old, failed relationships like so many ruins. We point out our scars preemptively, hoping those old cuts can be forgiven.

There won’t be a trial. I won’t stand there, facing the Devil-Bitch, the Little Red-Haired Girl, Crazy Debbie, ad nauseam.¬†

Somehow, as time erodes away the sharp points, we grow more comfortable handling our pasts.¬† The scars have healed over. We’re ready to risk new cuts, hoping this time it works out.

It’s not a perfect metaphor–God knows, I never committed war crimes.¬† I’m grateful never to have faced that situation.¬†

The guy’s 90. He’s been convicted of being involved in stuff that happened 65 years ago, even though he wasn’t “Ivan the Terrible.” Maybe this brings closure to his victims’ families. Maybe the bin Laden assassination did too.

For my own closure, Major Strasser has been shot. I’m off to sleep. Tomorrow, the constant evolution of tom will continue, one baby step at a time, and I hope my crimes and misdemeanors remain in the foggy past.

(PS: I have added a Tumblr page called “The Crunchy Center,” referring to its space between a 140 character Tweet on @tomzonets and a full-blown verbal poonado here. I’ll probably just add little pieces, like individual Mental Chex Mix parts. Post #1 is a quote from Sherlock Holmes. Stop by if you like: http://tomzone.tumblr.com/ )

Cuatro de Mayo Mental Chex Mix

Posted in mental chex mix on May 4, 2011 by tom

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*- That is Princess’ left wrist. Kindergarten can be quite dangerous, as can gravity.

*- The former explains why she was on the monkey bars. The latter is what led to her hasty reunion with the ground.

*- The doctors put her under and reset the break. Princess will be fine, thank God. 

*- Princess being Princess, she’s convinced that her nap was responsible, that she healed herself by her own powers.

*- If anyone could do that, it would be her.

*- My doctor has given me a new med to combat stabbyfeet med-coma. 

*- On their website, it mentions a possible side effect: “Sensing things that are not really there.”

*- How will I know? If I sense it, I’m likely going to believe it’s really there.

*- Further, in the medication guide that came with my pretty new pills, I was advised to contact my doctor if taken with, “an exaggerated sense of well-being.”

*- Now why the hell would I want to do that???

*- I wish I could control these side-effects, to use them as mental BLOCK buttons.

*- First to go? The tank-top and flip-flop guys.

*- Seriously, y’all.¬† If you are A) a male older than 9, and B) anywhere other than home, the beach, or playing basketball, lose the tank-top.

*- Flip-flops? Pretty much the same, except for the basketball playing.

*- Here on my sandbar, when the weather first gets hot, the flip-flop-tank-top guys crawl out from their thatched undergrowth lairs, and walk the sidewalks between 7-Elevens. They never rest, wandering to and fro until November, when cool weather drives their leathery carcasses back underground.

*- It kind of scares me that my first thought upon seeing Princess’ x-ray was, “Good Lord, she broke the crap out of her left radius.”

*- Once upon a time, my life’s mission was to be an orthopedic surgeon.

*- I found that I had more of a love for reading and writing than I did for medicine, so I took a different path.

*- Otherwise, I might have been the orthopedic surgeon on call Monday night at Bayfront. I’d have seen the x-ray, ordered the an√¶sthesia, and reset the left arm of a feisty little girl I’d never met.

*- Life is full of odd little twists like that, little nodes where our potential life paths intersect. I am not an orthopedic surgeon. I knew how to read that x-ray, because 30 years ago, I broke the crap out of my right wrist, and everything on my x-ray was reversed from P’s.

*- I went on to break my left wrist and tear ligaments in my ankle before high school ended.

*- My brother went a little crazy being competitive. He blew out his rotator cuff and tore his ACL, both requiring surgery. So I chose to have Fournier’s Gangrene and almost die. He responded by having a massive back operation, but the wuss never almost died.

*- Nice try, little brother. ūüėČ

*- I’m kidding, of course. It was never a competition.

*- We humans love competition. I’m probably the least competitive person on earth. I have an ego about certain things, of course, but that’s different.

*- I’ve been thinking about that after the events of this weekend. We started with the Royal Wedding¬ģ, had a million people attend a ceremony beatifying John Paul II, then Sunday, US troops killed Osama bin Laden.

*- I like Prince William, and Kate seems to be a good match for him. Like most people, I liked Princess Diana. I watched her wedding, and I watched her funeral: sad bookends at 4am.

*- I kind of like JP2 as well. I disagreed with some of his opinions, but I think he was a great guy.

*- I think Osama bin Laden was an evil shithead, and I’m not the least bit sad that a Navy SEAL shot him in the left eye.

*- I am sad the way some people have reacted, though, all puffed-up and growly. “Hah! Showed you!” “Don’t mess with us!”¬†

*- I haven’t forgotten 9/11, nor have I forgiven bin Laden. But I’ve moved on with my life. The guy was a rich thug who killed in God’s name and never built anything.

*- Hitler was an evil shithead, too, but at least he built roads and buildings, and turned around a nation.  

*- If bin Laden’s death brings closure to the 9/11 victims’ families, I’m glad for them.¬† It’s their right to feel that way. But hundreds of thousands of people have died, and trillions of dollars have been spent to get that $2 bullet into that particular evil shithead’s left eye.¬†¬†

*- We got him, but I hope the mindless whoopers remember one thing: this guy eluded the most powerful nation on earth for nearly a decade.

*- I think about all those people who lost loved ones during this pursuit, both the thousands of American military, and the ungodly number of civilians. We got the KO in the end, but if the whole thing got judged on points?

*- That’s not my call.¬† I’m not God. For all I know, God appoints Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan to hash out these things (or Spencer Tracy and Frederic March, anyway).¬†

*- Life shouldn’t be a competition, and death certainly shouldn’t. We all come into this world, haul ourselves around through triumphs and failures, and then we die. Some live with a bit more panache, and some die with more dignity. It’s not a competition.

*- Which is good, because Princess’ fracture kicks my fracture’s ass.

*- Happy Wednesday.

Ambivalence Looks a Lot Like Me

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 by tom

I wanted to get stinking, violently drunk tonight.

Hell of an opening, no?

The night of 9/11, I did get stinking drunk. To be perfectly honest, I think I pushed the throttle wide open on Operation Death by Harsh Liquids that night, and ran balls-out till June of aught-five.

If we’d blown Osama bin Laden’s brains out on 5/1/02, I’d probably have felt catharsis and closure, and I’d have done a big happy-dance.

Instead, I feel sorta “meh.”

Let me be clear: I’m glad the guy is dead. He’s evil, and he needed to be smited.

But what was the ultimate cost? We bombed Afghanistan to…well, whatever rubble turns into when you bomb it–the USSR hadn’t left much during their vacation there. Then we invaded Iraq, which had dick to do with 9/11. We killed Saddam Hussein. Well, great. The guy was an evil shithead, too, but if we invaded every country run by an evil shithead, we’d have to draft the entire population, and probably invade ourselves.

It’s tough for me to fathom that 9/11 was nearly ten years ago. W launched the War on Terror¬ģ, and away we went.¬† Thousands of American soldiers, and who knows many tens or hundreds of thousands of civilians later, we bust a cap into Osama bin Laden’s head.

Sorry, but I’m not dancing–again: glad he’s dead, and I would have blasted him myself–but did we win anything? We got him, but that won’t bring back even one of the World Trade Center dead. Worse still, we’ve lost a couple more 9/11’s worth of troops.

And we just now got him.

A friend at work said she would sleep well knowing Hitler #2 is now dead.

Hitler #2? Really? Adolf Hitler killed millions. Hitler was a political genius and a statesman, in a totally deranged way. Hitler rallied a nation hamstrung by the Treaty of Versailles, and Germany became a mighty power.¬† It’s frightening what Hitler accomplished, and how big an evil footprint he left on the world.

Osama bin Laden was certainly not stupid. He masterminded some amazing attacks.

But bin Laden was one rich, Wile E Coyote shithead, scheming away in a cave somewhere.¬† As a killer, he’s a hack amateur compared to Hitler. But Osama bin Laden knew that to bring down America, you don’t have to kill millions. Just give us good horrifying video, and let us destroy ourselves.

World War 2 basically took six years and a day. From Hitler invading Poland to the last signature on a treaty, that was it: six years.

This bin Laden guy kicked us square in the nuts, and he must have been laughing his ass off as we bombed ourselves into record unemployment, a bottomless real estate market, and hour-long waits in airport securiy while our toothpaste and conditioner are examined.

We finally got him. I’m glad we shot him.
But when I think of how different things were on 9/10/2001–we were at peace, with a strong economy, et cetera. I wonder if that cave-dwelling evil dickhead didn’t just win a little bit.

We shot him dead. Yay.

But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t dance.

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