Thursday, September 15, 2011


First off, a short update on my recent medical adventure to get that out of the way. I went to the doctor, an endocrinologist (my regular doctor had referred me to his office after seeing my MRI and saying, "Whoa, this is outta my league, I can't help you anymore!") a couple of weeks ago to discuss the MRI. He started going over all of the differences between a cyst and a benign tumor. After a few minutes, I stopped him and asked him why wasn't using the word "malignant." First, he said, tumors in this area (pituitary) were almost never cancerous, almost 99% not. Secondly, the MRI didn't show any of the indicators that might raise a red flag (I don't know why my regular couldn't have told me this.) So, he said we'd be doing another MRI in a year, to see if it has grown. For now, he wanted me to get some blood work done, to see if the cyst or tumor were affecting any of the hormones the pituitary produced. I went to go see him yesterday to discuss the results. Everything looked fine (except for the testosterone--but I already knew that, as that was what started this long strange trip to begin with.) So now I've got testosterone replacement therapy to start. I'm just wondering how it will affect me.
Will I become a raging barbarian, raping and pillaging my way into infamy? Will it turn my otherwise unassuming Dr. Jekyll persona into a ravenous, bloodthirsty Mr. Hyde? Perhaps I will finally be able to live up to my demonic moniker (demoniker?) I can't wait to find out!

And now, how about a little synchronicity?

Yesterday, my volunteer didn't show up to work. So I decided to throw in a few hours of sorting books until I had to leave for my appointment. These are all books that patrons have checked out, and then dropped back off at one of our locations. Our job is to pick them up, sort them and get them back to the branch they belong. So this gives you a decent snapshot of what people are reading. And let me tell you, it ain't highbrow literature. But every once in a while you'll come across a gem. Yesterday, I happened to pull out Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, which I hadn't heard of. I had heard of Angels, and Tree of Smoke, both of which I have been wanting to read.

It was a short little book, a novella, so I placed it on my desk to check out later, thinking maybe I might be able to fit it into my reading pile (with the added bonus of further irritating my wife, as she despises anyone who reads more than one book at a time--which I always do.)

So, last night as I'm perusing one of my favorite blogs, Enrique Freeque's Forum, I thought I'd check out some of the blogs Enrique follows. The Quivering Pen looked interesting. So I clicked on the link, and what do I find as the latest post? A review of Train Dreams! How cool is that?

Okay, you might have noticed I changed my blog's header. I'm never satisfied with what I come up with. I'm still not happy with this one, but I just got sick and tired of looking at the previous one. I'm starting to form some ideas in my head of what I might want it to look like, but need to play around with GIMP to see if I can pull it off. If you like manipulating images, but don't want to shell out the moola for Photoshop, I highly recommend GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program.) First of all, it's free! And you can't beat that. It's also works on just about every platform. And best of all, there is really no limit to what you can do with it; it's an extremely powerful application. The only drawback is learning how to use it. It's a little daunting at first. But there are plenty of good tips on the internet to help you get started.

Okay, that's it for now. But it just occurred to me that the testosterone might affect my reading tastes. I just hope I can finish The Recognitions before that happens.


  1. I knew I'd seen something about Train Dreams recently (and thanks for the mention man). Have you read Jesus' Son? Phenomenal. I reviewed it earlier this year, I think it's in January, if you're interested.

    Yeah, man, what are you doing putting up a pic of a headstone with your goddamn name on it?! WTF!!! You think death is funny do you? Well death kills, bubba, and it's no laughing matter even for the amusingly morbidly minded like yourself. How about something more ballsy, in keeping with your testosteronical leit motif?

    I'm afraid I bailed on The Recognitions. Know what I'm reading instead? Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. Lead character's name is Hell. You'd probably like it.

    Glad you're not going to croak on us anytime soon sounds like! :)

  2. Glad to hear the medical scare turned out so well.

    Enrique, you must know death is hilarious. If you don't appreciate this point, I suggest getting yourself up the mountain... The Magic Mountain. And don't forget to take your Blue Henry with you.

  3. Death, it is the ultimate joke, is it not? Have you guys already started MM?

  4. I recommend both of you check out Death at a Funeral -- the British version from like five years ago.

    Tuir, I appreciate the offer, but I've already been up that mountain, Man, and I needed a rest cure for something like seven years after I finished it. You guys are doing great over there! Excelsior! Brave Team Magic Mountain!!