Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Doctor-Patient Relationship

From MedicalNewsToday.com, Canadian doctors rank the top ten medical ethics issues. Number one is disagreement about what should be done between doctors and patients and their families.

Sometimes, I think it is easy to pick sides. For example, patients who insist upon antibiotics for viral treatments are clearly wrong. They are not making an informed choice in such case, but rather they are deciding to do something not only useless for their treatment but harmful to themselves and the population at large because of the nature of antibiotics and bacterial resistance that develops against them from overuse.

However, the challenges of "end of life" decisions are not so easy.

The article says: "...involving a family demanding that everything be done to maintain a patient's life versus a medical team that views continuing aggressive intervention as tantamount to torture. [I would add here that I imagine doctors often also argue that continuing aggressive treatment is futile, wasteful, and so on--not just tortuous. Think Terri Schiavo.] Families may cite deeply held religious beliefs [I would add, not just religious beliefs, but also value systems, etc.] and argue they are shared by the patient, or accuse the health care team of wanting to save money or to give the resources to another patient. Conflict ensues and communication often breaks down."

I'm glad I came across this today. 'Tis to be the topic of my thesis, which I plan to begin in August.

Objective and Apolitical

I came across this "objective and apolitical" look at casualties in the Iraq war from a comment on this post at Moot Montage. The visual, audio, and calendar speak volumes. Nice work by its creator.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush Criticized for Linking 9/11 and Iraq

This headline has come up repeatedly for two years, because HE KEEPS DOING IT.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pfizer: Viagra doesn't cause blindness.

Duh! Masturbation causes blindness.

On, but not in.

When reading about the Supreme Court's decision to allow the Ten Commandments "on, but not in", I can't help but think of nearly every sex-educator's advice about what to tell your partner in regards to his semen: "come on me, not in me."

Sorry.

Arise, Puppy, Arise!!

According to this story in the NY Post, scientists have been able to bring dead dogs back to life. There are animal rights issues that surround research like this, of course, but it is still fascinating. Though the method is admittedly not perfect, these scientists have, in some small way, discovered that there is an "on/off" switch for life. This may spark interest in cryogenic freezing..?

Monday, June 27, 2005

"8, 10, 12 years..."

It's hard to believe how blatantly the truth gets twisted in regards to the war in Iraq. Who is buying Rumsfeld's claim that by "last throes" Cheney meant something else? Seriously, who?

The Big Gay Spectacle

The Big Gay Spectacle, which is alwasy exactly that, went by the same routine, more or less. I started at 28th Street where I met my roomate and his boyfriend, then moved on to 14th and below with other friends. Nothing out of the ordinary. The expected Repent Now people with bullhorns caused a little stir. But other than that, it was a lot of fun. I wonder if Billy Graham planned his final Crusade to coincide with Gay Pride?

Sadly, I didn't take my camera (didn't want to keep up with it), but if you look at any number of pictures from any number of years past...well, the shit is pretty much the same.

From Tuesday to Sunday, I stayed at my friends J & T's apartment to look after their cats while they were out of town. One of them had just had some kind of kitty-radiation treatment, so it was important that I was there to scoop the radioactive turds out of the litter on a regular basis. The radioactive kitty is tiny, and so adorable, and the other cat is abnormally large, like a jungle animal. The big cat takes these crazy shaped shits that are larger than a human's would be. Seriously, I don't know how he manages to squeeze them out. It's unreal.

I enjoyed staying in Sunnyside, as it is a very nice neighborhood, and I always like a little break from being at my own apartment with my own drama that takes place there. It was a refuge of sorts to be alone for a good week in a big apartment with free reign. And digital cable...I don't usually spend much time in front of the television, but I allowed myself to indulge in the idiot box while I was there.

In other news, today is National HIV Testing Day.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

...

I always wanted to be so close to the action. Like my whole life was supposed to be anticipation for The Next Big Thing That I Moved On To. There was High School Graduation, then there was going to College, then there was, Costa Rica, then there was moving to Texas & being in what I like to remember as "the Non-Military Service" , then there was the move to New York. Now I have a permanant job here, a good five years has passed, and I feel like there is no Next Big Thing anymore. I have nothing to look forward to. Graduating from my master's program is going to be no big deal, quiet by my choice. Writing the thesis is going to be (is already) something I just want over with.

I used to have way more energy when I was younger, and I'm not even that old mind you, but I feel like I have gone into reserve supplies. It takes a lot of energy to live this life. I used to run myself to the bone in nightclubs and random people's homes. Now I run myself to the bone in a cubicle, in a library, in some of the seediest places on Earth, and just trying to get all the details of shit taken care of. I feel overwhelmed by less things than should be overwhelming. I feel like my health, for the first time in my life, is not very good. I feel like my mind is not as sharp, and that I can't focus on any particular goal at hand. I've been having this wierd not-being-able-to-breathe thing lately that scares me. My heart feels weak sometimes. I'm at a loss.

Sunday is the Gay Pride Parade, or as I like to to call it, "The Big Gay Spectacle." We have a joke among us that involves something that was said by the reciever of a prank telephone call. It doesn't make any sense without the story of the call, but the saying is, "Everything Changed After Pride." I am telling myself that I have till Sunday to feel sorry for myself, to continue to smoke cigarettes, to continue to run myself into the ground, to continue to pursue instant gratification and debauchery. Then, Everything Changes, and I start on the road to a new awareness of myself, and a new respect for my place in this creepy, shit-covered, illusory world.

We'll see if I make good on any of this.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

House Approves Ammendment to Ban Flag Burning

Soon there will be mandatory book burnings to take their place.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

indulge me

Another one

Truth, Knowledge, & Belief

Survey: "Most US Doctors Believe in God"

Mispelling

The Official Publicationn in which my little article appears came out today and in the table of contents my name is mispelled. I'm used to it, but it's still kind of irritating. At least it's spelled correctly inside.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Nice to be Home

Should I really get Butch Stroll on your ass? Should I give the bitter, nasty little experiences that make Stroll, Stroll? On the Internet I am always terrified that someone will know it's me on these little things, message boards and blogs and the like, and I want total anonymity. So I can really get things off my chest that no one in my life could ever be told, or really understand if they were. I don't have an email address capable of being found, I don't think, and I don't imagine it likely somone would come across this on a randomish search, what, with BILLIONS of pages on the Internet and I ain't talkin' about anything specific around here.

Yet, these things have been known to happen.

Anyway, right now, I am jacked up, meaning, I have taken three speed pills to drive five hours on my return from Cape Cod, affectionately known as "The Cape", which I find kind of irritating. There are many capes after all. The point is, speed = chatty. Or typey as it were. Longwinded. Bare with me.

The drive up was perfection. We snorted cocaine along the way. I had to stop to pee like 5 times. There was little resistance to Courtney Love CD's, but she was generally accepted. Modest Mouse on the other hand only got a couple songs. Then there was a fair share of their music.

"The Cape" (you know which one I'm talking about) is really beautiful. However, it is very family oriented, and there's not a lot of people around, especially this time of year. So while it is good to get out of the city, even if only for one full day and two fun road-trip days, it is really kind of boring. Not that my time there was boring, but the place itself - boring as all hell. It is the waspiest place on earth. What I'm generally looking for in a vacation is the Dark Underbelly, aka The Butch Stroll. Every place has one, no matter how small, the place where sex, drugs, and metaphorical rock n' roll converge. I can always find them. Given more time and time alone I could have in Cape Cod.

K & I left T at home and went thrift shopping a little. They have a little brochure made up for "Touring the Thrift Shops of Cape Cod". We also went to TJ Maxx, where I stole a pair of pants. The two nights we were there, there was a variety of drug use and a lot of drinking. That's about the extent of it.

Then we drove back today, they slept for a long part of the way, and I high-tailed it back to City limits. We had a delay due to traffic on the highway at several points and a moment of being lost within miles of being home. Which is ironic, I think.

My roommate came home and we talked for a little bit--well, actually, a lot bit since I went into Chatty Cathy mode and talked his ear off. I somehow got onto the subject of this research study I was in a while back, and the doctors who I continue to see because of the problem, and how I'm something of a charity case in there since the insurance doesn't cover all of it, and how I'm ready to smash the institution of medicine with an iron fist. The area has been bothering me lately, but I'm not sure what the problem is.

Because I am bouncing off the walls, I may call in to work tomorrow. I probably will.

I told K that I might go out, and she was surpisingly all about it. Then I kind of got relaxed at home, though I'm still considering an outing. So I kind of called it off. I think she wanted to get some cocaine, anyway, which would have really put me over the top. Besides, K describes herself as sluggish, so I'm not sure she'd be into the kind of night that I would be into, which would entail being a lot more energetic. She also is admittedly clumsy. I'm no ballarina myself, but The Butch Stroll don't do clumsy.


In short, it is now approaching midnight, what I like to call "The Bitching Hour", and the one thing I need to do before all other considerations is shower. I've been having some irritating skin issues lately so I want to scrub myself clean, contort myself into the necessary positions, and do a full inspection. If I can't be beautiful, can't I at least have beautiful skin?

All this no doubt makes me sound like an all around horrible person. I just want people who come here to know who they're dealing with.

I may never sleep.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Get your war on. My favorite part is when he says, "Remember when we had a war on drugs and then there were no more drugs?"

In other news, how can the government act like this is no big deal?

Then Jeb Bush, reminds of what is really important these days: that Terri Schiavo fell out hard over 15 years ago.
I think they should rename this ride "The Child Killer" to boost interest.

The Cape

I'm going to Cape Cod this weekend. I've never been to Cape Cod (or Mass. at all for that matter), but I hear it's beautiful. Anyway, in my research, I came across this article wherein the dude says he's a gay man who feels uncomfortable in Provincetown. And though I've never been to Provincetown either, I know exactly what he's saying.

Anyway, I was hoping to get a tan to brighten up my pallid life. But weather.com is giving kind of a chilly, shitty report, so we'll see.

I hope the little bugger makes it...

Things like the two faced kitty fascinate me.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Final Thoughts on Terri Schiavo or Schiavo in Sum

This is a synopsis of what Terri Schiavo's autopsy "means".

There was another headline on Yahoo yesterday that read: "Autopsy shows Schiavo severely brain damaged." NO?! I thought she was tap dancing and eating steak dinners?

The thing that I will always remember about the Terri Schiavo is the people who were trying to sneak in bread and water. Now, if she were able to eat and/or drink, there wouldn't be the need for all this debate, would there?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Uptown Manhattan Through a Dirty Window



Today is Puerto Rican Day, which means the Puerto Rican Day Parade is happening. I am avoiding Manhattan at all costs. Just too many people and too much...noise.

Last night I went out and engaged in a little debauchery. It was a mission for indulgence and self-destruction. It was fabulous.

When I was coming home at about 4:30 in the morning, I made the rare decision to take the subway at that hour rather than a cab (financial concerns, natch). In the 59th Street station, an old man had strait fallen out in front of the bench. He had a shoe-shine stool thing, and he was trying to pull himself up by the bench.

This nice-looking man who I became enamored with was checking him out; peering at him, trying to see his face to see if he was ok. I took a different approach by asking: "You okay?" He said he was. The nice-looking man said, "He's just drunk." Clearly, he was wasted.

Anyway, these other two men came over and lifted him up onto the bench. I felt kind of bad that I had not taken that initiative after he had told me he was okay. But, que sera sera. At least he was on his way to sobriety in the end. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Day

As I was getting off the train, this girl said, "Sir! Sir!" I turned around, and she handed me a dollar I dropped. Good lookin' out.

Today I tanned, I got a haircut, and I bought some facial cleanser. It was a day of indulging my vanity.

This was made possible by loans from the Bank of J-Boogie and the Bank of K-Boogie. I owe them a combined $166. Tuition reimbursement is on its way though, so my credit should remain in good standing with them.

Now it's fixing to storm something fierce. I'm going to lay down for a few before I get up and regear for a night of stomping the mean dark streets in pursuit of a little bit of fun.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Scientist Misconduct

This is a troubling article in the Washington Post (hint: use Bugmenot to access) about scientists fibbing their results to some degree.

In the case of drug companies, this no doubt happens all the time. Drug companies hire scientists. Scientists come up with results that mean profits for drug companies. The research is faulty. Consumers suffer from dangerous prescriptions, or prescriptions that really don't do much of anything.

The Never Ending Search for Home

I love my apartment and I love my roommate aka my cousin. But I would also love to live in Manhattan.

Which, I did for one year. In something akin to a flophouse. Long story that I will tell later.

Now the World Church of Assimilation, for whom I work, has an apartment available in a really great part of town for $800 per month. That, by Manhattan standards, is cheap, though I'm not sure I could afford it. If I weren't in debt up to my nostrils, I probably could, but...

The question is always "Will it be worth it?" unless of course the question is "Was it worth it?" You just never know with these things.

Not that I'm even seriously considering moving--which, having done that so much over the years is part of the reason why I'm up to the nostrils--but it would be fabulous to be sooo close to work and to live in such a nice area that is in Manhattan but somewhat removed from all that is bad about Manhattan.

"Where do I belong?" is another question that pertains not only to housing but to living life itself.

Next: the new mental disorder I'm going through that's really scaring me.

P.S. I started The Patch today. I hope I can stay off those damn cigarettes this time for good.

Old Jokes Home

From Popbitch:

Q: What did the German watch repairer say to his
watch that would only go 'tick, tick, tick'?

A: Ve have vays of making you tock.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The notes on my paper declare that my understanding of the science could be better and my paper more clear. This saddens me. I already have this self-confidence issue, and this is like a punch in the gut to the academic section of my brain and what confidence was there. Oh well, the truth hurts. Now it is time to get to thinking about the thesis because all else for the master's is said and done.

Yesterday after work I went to Bergdorf Goodman's to watch the Red Carpet. It was kind of a bad experience. I did see Madonna, to whom I have had an intense loyalty for the past 20 years. But I realized in that setting that people are uncivilized, monsterous things. If everyone would just calm down and be polite, we could all get our shot and exist in relative comfort. But nooo, people have to push and pull and basically dislocate other people who were there before them. Luckily I'm tall so I could see over most people, but having started in the front and slowly having my space invaded by GROWN PEOPLE with no class whatsoever relegated me to the back.

Pictures forthcoming.

On another note, I have this little website--nothing fancy, just some random little things I've done that are up there. It actually has gotten to the point where it gets a relatively lot of visits from people looking for particular things--usually I imagine for their schoolwork. It has a guestbook, my email address, my Yahoo ID--plenty of ways to contact me. I see people that visit pretty much stay on one topic but spend a relatively long time there. My question is, really, how is it that over the years that it's been there, I've had exactly two people (out of thousands) contact me? AND one of those was Big Shot Philosopher, the other was a nice woman asking me how to cite me as a source. The rest of those people...are they just cutting and pasting me into their assignments? I really wonder sometimes how many people find a ready made paper on a specific topic and just plagiarize my ass.

Speaking of Big Shot Philosopher, I emailed him recently, and once I get the topic approved from Big Shot Advisor, I will run it by Big Shot Philosopher. Just to keep him involved. I am giving him no other option than to be an additional advisor via the internet -- hey, he offered constructive criticism. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

B+ = Not an A

I got my grade for my final course today. B+. A little disappointing, frankly, though not unexpected. I wonder what kind of comments my paper will have on it upon its return via USPS.

In other news, ole Madge Ritchie is in town, and, as usual when this occurs, I plan to stalk try to photograph her. Through my intricate network of sources, I know that she is right now at the Time Warner Center reading her children's book. And I know later tonight she is attending a UNICEF function at Bergdorf's. Now the question is, what time is this Bergdorf's thing? Should I try to play paparazzi at Time Warner, her house, or Bergdorf's? I look so fabulous today they might mistake me for someone who's supposed to be there and hustle me in for a cocktail. (sarcasm)

Yes, I am like a child when it comes to Miss Thing. Don't worry, I'll keep my distance.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Who said it?

"It isn't hard to believe in God, it is just hard to believe that God is good."
While Astoria is known for its Greek influence, and thereby its Greek Orthodox influence, we still have a little Roman Catholic flava as well. This, I presume, is their conception of Mary (which wouldn't be different than the Greeks' I don't think).
The Triboro Bridge...I can't figure out what that covering is on the arche is for. Maybe some kind of construction. The others don't have it.
Some kind of boat coming through on the river.
This is a shot of the pool itself, which I read somewhere was at one time the biggest pool in the country and was used in the Olympics at one point. That's the Hell's Gate bridge in the background, with which I am photographically obsessed.
This is the view from the promenade of Astoria Pool, which is not open yet, and which I would not swim in even if it were because I imagine the water is about 49% urine. I think those buildings are the Bronx.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

If sniffing oxytocin makes you more trusting raises ethical issues about neuromarketing of everything from soda to political candidates. Clearly, the antidote to oxytocin is a big sniff of cocaine: it destroys the trust one might have with a wave of paranoia. ;)

In other news, I am absorbed by the revelation of the identity of Deep Throat and the newfound interest in Watergate and Nixon's presidency. I am convinced that Mark Felt went to the press with his information not only because of his "contempt for the Nixon White House" but also for fear for his own safety.