Friday, June 06, 2008

Hanging City-side

Martini in hand, pizza on the way, Friday night, feeling loose. Spent the day in San Francisco, going to the doctor, having a nice breakfast, and then working from home. All good, notwithstanding how annoying the modern interlopers into the urban zone can be. Tailgated by some young woman in a huge SUV ... panting at the switch, doing everything to get by me in heavy traffic. Who needs a private bus to get around a tight city? Later, some idiot behind black-tinted windows in a large car, and sporting an Obama sign in the front windshield, got all furious because I honked at her because she was blocking a couple of lanes of traffic. Kept honking for three blocks ... what, she wanted to fight? Some drivers are such jackasses.

So the traffic annoyances are my excuse for heading this post with an awesome pic of Rafal Nadal ... the ugliness of modern life versus the beauty of the athlete at the moment of impact. That's why I watch sports. My good friend LB watches tennis and will no doubt fill me in about whom I should be rooting for in this and sundry other matches. But all agree, I would suggest, that this man is a babe.

Popped on the boob tube ... Lincecum is beating the Nats 9-1 in the 7th. Sweet. In other sports news, did you see the Pittsburgh goalie push the ultimate Stanley Cup winning goal into his own net with his butt? Strangest goal I've ever seen ... and hockey goals are a strange lot. If I ever return to Canada, I have a lot of hockey to look forward to ... meanwhile, it is a baseball lifestyle.

So to the day ... I call my doctor at Kaiser "Doogie Howser", leastwise behind his back. He seems so young, and he is certainly earnest. He told me mock-stern that I owed him a sigmoidal colonoscopy. I blushed, really, and admitted that I am a health-care avoider. He's such a sweet guy that I hardly know why I avoid him. I managed to forget to ask for a Cialis scrip. But the real subject of our conversation was my persistently high LDL levels ... moderately high, I must add, though high nonetheless ... notwithstanding that all the other indications are excellent. He set out a plan ... I have 10 weeks to get it under control or he is going to put me on Zocor. Oy. Lectured by Doogie, embarrassed into being a good citizen. I even have a reading assignment. Still, one cannot complain. The quality of care at Kaiser, at least so far as I know as someone without a significant physical complaint, is high.

I'd marry Doogie in a flash.

Doogie sent me to gastroenterology to schedule the colonoscopy. The charming older Filipino lady with a gold cross laid out in front of her keyboard carefully explained to me how to perform a solo enema on myself prior to the procedure. I don't think I should use the terminology she used if only to spare my readers an embarrassing reflection on the humiliations of being human. But I could barely keep myself from laughing out loud as she went through her paces. I mean kneeling doggy style for crying out loud. Anyway, all for a good cause. And I will finally be able to write my dear friend Dodge and tell her that I have filled my part of a bargain made some years ago.

Fresh from gastroenterology, I headed to the Curbside Cafe on California near Fillmore. This has become my auto-retreat from Kaiser whenever I have a medical experience. I had a perfect omelette with spinach, brie, and sun-dried tomatoes ... I decline to comment on whether or not that contributes to my 10-week challenge to cut the LDL. The waiter is a French dude, 20-something, with the face of a horse and tight bod shoe-horned into shiny black duds. He has that stern and welcoming attitude of the French waiter, and he also has the amazing hand-eye coordination ... a joy to watch him put a glass of water before me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon "working from home". Mostly I was attempting to establish a connection to a server that will rule my life for the next 8 weeks. Server connections are fraught with firewalls and authorizations and that great modern curse, the virtual private network or VPN. Our IT guy is working gamely, but there are offices and offices to move to action, and IT is more often than is healthy mired in the defugalties of bureaucracy. We are still not quite there ... even though I am sitting on an email that appears to answer the issues and only waits upon my finishing this post before I return to the fray.

So the pizza has come and gone and so has the martini, and I am ready for bed. I had great plans for this post, but they must remain subject to what I have actually written. Some time over the weekend, I project further perorations on the development of the German state in the late 19th century ... and what that illustrates about the present breathlessness here and in China. I hope that will fascinate more than my virtual encounter with gastroenterology.

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