Thursday, April 28, 2011

Young Takes the Mike

                                                            MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES

    Michael Young,  president of the University of Utah and president-designate of the University of Washington, "made a roomful of UW officials smile by saying he'd take less money than his predecessor," the Seattle Times reported yesterday.
    As Saturday Night Live's Dana Carvey (the church lady) used to say: "Well, isn't that special."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Michael, Row Your Boat Away

Young, Michael K.

    Now that it seems we are going to lose University of Utah President Michael K. Young to the University of Washington, it might be fun to try a little experiment. 
    Let's offer 25 percent of what we've been paying Young and see how many energetic, experienced, visionary, charismatic applicants we can attract. Those who believe that we need to pay big money to get big talent are wrong, in my opinion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Daddy's Delirium: The Haunted House in a Beautiful Mind

    The lights in Daddy's brain had been extinguished one by one, until at times he seemed to be little more than a potted plant, who sat in the sun for hours with his eyes closed. He still knew who we were, and he when we hugged and kissed him, he always said, "Thank you." He never initiated conversation anymore. The only answers he had to our questions were, "I don't know," or "I don't remember." 
    We didn't dream that some mad thunderbolt could pierce his brain and propel him into a fury of storytelling, urgent confessions, scientific theorizing, twisted reminiscence and vivid hallucinations. If you live to be over 65, it is very likely to happen to you, whether you have dementia or not.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Diary of a Mad Vaper

A colorful, sometimes slightly grotesque, new cultural phenomenon.
    (April 17, 2014) I dove into the delicious waters of the e-cigarette tsunami as a journalistic endeavor, and unexpectedly became a participant, not merely a detached,  note-taking observer. Oh, those tasty treats!
    Like everything I do, I did it to death -- and now I'm through. But it was a great ride. I briefly became a breakout starlet on Spinfuel magazine's news blog, as my stories reached number ten, seven, four and one, out of hundreds of fine articles. I kind of felt like a spokesmodel  -- quite a thrill at my age -- although I wish I could have been spotlighting animal rights, class warfare or ongoing racial discrimination, rather than the charming but relatively trivial "art of vaping." In any case, it was an excellent adventure. It remains for me a provocative topic on many levels: cultural, political, scientific, technological and entrepreneurial.
    The media will be covering the e-cigarette issue relentlessly for the foreseeable future. Lots of people have opinions, some of them reasonable.
    I have removed all but two of my posts from this page and collected them in the tab above:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Touching


    The quiet, rather bland young student at a  New York chiropractic school's free evening clinic did some half-hearted manipulation of my back, and then had me turn over. Much to my surprise, he proceeded to rub both sides of my lower abdomen in a circular motion. 
   "What the hell are you doing?" I asked, more curious than alarmed.
   "I'm giving you an ovary massage to see if we can get those menses back in gear," he said.
   I had him stop. On the intake form, under "gynecological symptoms," I had noted that I hadn't had a menstrual period in several months, but I wasn't pregnant. Still, I thought the concept of an ovary massage was creepy, and even if it were medically valid, I had no desire for my periods to return. 
   For the next three days, I had cramps and a pleasant sensation of warmth "down below." I think he may have known what he was doing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Updates on, Lupus and Body Donation
     As we requested, Media One of Utah has changed its obituary policy, taking down the pay wall on all obituaries, permanently. There will be no charge for viewing older obits, and those forthcoming will remain free perpetually, instead of requiring a fee after 30 days.
    Regarding the class-action lawsuit on the abuses inherent in's user agreement.......

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why Call Them Privates?

        It seems to me that they aren't privates anymore: They are publics! Until I began writing this blog a few weeks ago, I had rarely made any use of Google images. I use the site quite a bit now to find interesting artwork to illustrate my posts. 
   I have been exposed during this short time to far more pictures of human genitalia than I have seen in the rest of my life put together. And I mean like ten times more! It wasn't fun!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Modest Proposal: Castration at Birth


    In 1729, Jonathan Swift penned a satirical essay entitled "A Modest Proposal," which advocated that poor people decrease their burden on society by selling their children to the rich, to be "stewed, roasted, baked or boiled" for a very delicious meal. In today's tiresome jargon, it would be characterized as a "win-win." 
    I have a modest proposal of my own, and I'm not being satirical. Until some way can be found to mitigate testosterone's devastating impact on the world, I advocate that males be castrated at birth.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Please Mr. Postman: Deliver the Letter (the sooner the better)

Nursing Homes Can Legally Deprive Your Loved Ones of Mail

         It is against federal law to interfere with delivery of the mail. But the United States Postal Service is doing just that, by being a willing accessory to the interception and destruction of mail addressed to those who are confined to long-term care facilities.
    If you are serving a life sentence for murder in a maximum security prison, you are entitled to receive your mail. It cannot be opened, censored or withheld without a court order.
    But care faciliities operating under the same U.S. Constitution have been allowed by the United States Postal Service to intercept mail -- letters, legal documents and gifts -- addressed to sick, lonely, aged residents. The residents aren't even made aware that mail has been sent to them. Even legal documents informing the resident of his or her rights can be withheld. Thanks to explicit postal service policy, this could easily happen to you or a loved one.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lancing a Boil with Metallic "Deathiness"


     I guess it is fitting that my brief immersion in the world of death-metal music began on a dark and stormy morning, complete with lightning and thrashing trees.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Morose Little Vehicle, Running on Emptiness

continued from yesterday's post

Fat women - high heels - Pistonheads

    What stands out most in my mind is that I was always starving -- and on the vibrant, poignant streets of New York City, the fragrance of food was everywhere. I was in a near-swoon most of the time. I wanted so much to eat -- to eat everything! -- but I wanted not to eat even more. Out of nowhere, I had developed a humongous fear of being fat. (This was ironic, because the two best female friends I'd ever had were obese. They were beautiful and sexy. They were fresh and clean. They were smart and compassionate. Their love enveloped everyone around them.  So what was my problem?)
    Food had become my adversary. My hunger could not be managed except by stomping it down.