So what happens the day after thousands descend on a city center and drink themselves into a stupor in the interest of celebrating spring and the return of baseball season? This:
And this was pretty tame, as these things go. The vacant lots we could see from the office were strewn. Most of it was being picked up by day’s end, but the day was windy, and the wind picked up more of it.
And since we’ve already kicked off with a photo, let’s make this a picture-heavy post, because I’m tired and cranky and want to read a book or something. OK? Here goes.
How about a story you can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that you do NOT want to read the comments? This one:
And in case you’re wondering? No, it’s not exactly true; guess which TV network is involved in trying to make it so, however:
However, because it’s a lot more fun to say the big, bad ol’ government is oppressing people, the Narrative (there’s always a Narrative) quickly established that the feds told the boosters to tear out the seats (or as often misreported, bleachers). Two of the boosters appeared March 30 on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” and it only took until the first question for them to be asked if this government-ordered seat removal wasn’t un-American. The boosters, apparently not regular viewers of “Fox & Friends,” seemed a little surprised by that line of questioning.
Someone believes it is embarrassing to show her belly spots to the whole world, but she’s so cute what the hell:
Finally, we saw this over the weekend:
That’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which I didn’t expect to like but ended up enjoying very much. It’s absolutely over the top, disgusting at many points, too long by about 40 minutes — there were moments when I was mentally telling Thelma Schoonmaker, who has at least one Oscar, that she needed to cut this scene like, yesterday — and yet absolutely exhilarating. I should just face it: Martin Scorsese had me not at hello, but at the moment his own camera panned past him sitting on that step in “Taxi Driver.”
I’m just going to see all his movies until one of us dies.
Which could be tomorrow, if I don’t get some rest. Happy birthday to my sister Pam, and hump day to everyone.
MichaelG said on April 2, 2014 at 1:15 am
Happy Birthday to Pam.
I like that gray paint on the walls.
How about a scan review? In the last month or so I’ve had an MRI, two CT scans and a PET scan. All involve the victim lying on a table which gets shuttled in and out of a circular (annular) assemblage. There the similarities end.
The MRI took place in a trailer out back of the main facility. Given the tight quarters I wasn’t able to get a really good look at the apparatus. It was tubular and narrow. I laid down on the table; a long and narrow thing. Next thing I knew was that I was tied to it hand and foot and chest and waist. The tube was exceedingly narrow, so much so that it actually touched me when I was inside. As a rule, I’m able to zone out if not fall asleep. Oh no, not with the MRI. This bastard made extremely loud, irregular noises. It went on for forty five minutes at the end of which I was well and truly shaken. This shit is genuinely claustrophobic. With the noise added in, an MRI is well and soundly a torture machine. I NEVER want to experience that again. It’s simply awful. Between being tied down and the tight quarters in that tube I was ready to freak. Fuck. Another five minutes . . .
The CT scan, on the other hand, is a donut with a table similar to the MRI. You lie down and the techs arrange you with pillows and foam so as to secure the best view of what they want to see. Then the table scoots in and out and you’re done in a minute or two. Piece of cake. I had two of these CT scans and the techs were professional, friendly and a delight to be with.
The CT and MRI are designed to concentrate their peeping efforts on specific areas or spots on your poor self. These scans took place before my surgery.
I had the PET scan on Monday, the day before yesterday. Or whenever Monday was. A PET scan is a whole body scan. I showed up at 7:30 in the AM and was escorted by a tech to a small room where I discarded my pants in favor of the pants from some scrubs. All my belongings went into a plastic bag. You can’t have any metals during any of these scans. That means keys, change, watch, glasses, wallet etc. I should have asked what they did about piercings but was too self-absorbed to think of it at the time.
The tech, a great guy named Guy, had me lie on one of those hospital tables in the exam room and inserted an IV into my left arm. Then he wheeled in this big cart and hooked up some kind of isotope containing stuff to the IV, metered it out of the cart, which was heavy with shielding, into my arm. I was directed to relax for the next half hour to let the stuff spread. He turned out the lights and I dozed off. Then it was scan time.
He led me to the room with the machine which turned out to be a big double donut. On the, now familiar, table he informed me that the scan would be about forty minutes. It turned out to be easy as pie. The donuts had plenty of room inside and they emitted a nice soothing hum and I zoned out and the time passed quickly. As a cap to the whole thing, Guy provided me with a recommendation for a really nice breakfast place on Douglas Blvd. that I hadn’t tried before.
So, there’s a scan of the scans. Fuck, that MRI is evil.
Dexter said on April 2, 2014 at 2:54 am
“May 26th. Four o’clock p.m. I took Betsy to Charles Coffee Shop on Columbus Circle. I had black coffee and apple pie with a slice of melted yellow cheese. I think that was a good selection. Betsy had coffee and a fruit salad dish. She could have had anything she wanted.” -Travis
Deborah said on April 2, 2014 at 3:01 am
Michael G, I’ve had MRIs twice, once for my neck, it showed up two compressed vertebrae, and once for my foot which turned out to have a stress fracture in the heel bone. The noise was horrible. But nether of them lasted that long.
Cute photo of Kate and Wendy.
Dexter said on April 2, 2014 at 3:14 am
MichaelG, I understand totally. An MRI scan disrupted my life for years after. I was scanned for hip problems and was uncomfortable exactly as you were. I exited and asked the techs if anyone ever freaked out in there, and he mumbled, “oh, once in a while, not often…” Months later, driving on I-77, approaching Big Walker Mountain Tunnel , Virginia-West Virginia border, calm, driving perfectly contented, entered tunnel and BAM! My heart began racing , I could barely breathe, full-on instant panic attic. Exit mile-long tunnel, fine, but sweating at the brow. I thought it was an isolated thing, puzzled me greatly, but entered the second tunnel, Bland Tunnel, minutes later and BAM! This was serious. After a nice vacation I had forgotten about the dual attacks, and entered Bland Tunnel northbound. Oh Lordy no! Yes. Again with Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. I went home and forgot about it. Next several trips, worse. One time I drove hours over curvy roads to avoid the tunnels, one time I wrapped my head in a towel and had my wife drive the tunnels. I was around Newport News and found myself approaching the big interstate tunnel there and freaked out, had to exit into a rough area, but I avoided that tunnel. Now, twenty soe years later, the phobia is gone. Last summer I drove through several tunnels with no panic whatsoever. It was that goddam fucking MRI, that’s what did it. Not only did it mess up my driving, it instilled a fear of being trapped in a dentist chair, and when I did go in for some dental work, I panicked right in the chair, but I fought it off. Monday I endured a two hour dentist chair procedure, no problem. it’s finally over. But I thought the old-school torture chamber were history…I thought only open-air MRIs were being used. I will take a death sentence before I EVER fucking go through that again! Been thinking of you buddy, get well soon, MichaelG.
Sherri said on April 2, 2014 at 3:30 am
It depends on the body part how bad the claustrophobia is for me, but having had a few over the years, I finally decided to get a eye pillow to cover my eyes and generally, MRI places will have headphones you can wear with either music of your choice or at least the ability to select the radio channel. That helped me with the claustrophobia considerably. The noise doesn’t go away, but it’s a little quieter with headphones.
Dexter said on April 2, 2014 at 3:43 am
Sherri, I was playing soothing Dinah Washington tunes from my own music collection, through the set-up’s system, and it just didn’t help.
Meanwhile, inside Comerica Park at the Tigers’ home opener… http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/slideshow/Day-in-Pictures-April-1-2014-83108/photo-6104545.php
MarkH said on April 2, 2014 at 4:39 am
Michael G, Dexter, Sherri — Didn’t any of your doctors think to prescribe a Valium for you? I, too, have had a number of MRIs and wouldn’t to near one without sedation. The first time, I thought I could, but I learned. Our hospital has a newer, more modern one now. A bit more quiet and you get headphones and music, too.
ROGirl said on April 2, 2014 at 6:15 am
A Scorsese movie I caught up with recently is Hugo, which I enjoyed a lot. Unlike his usual stuff, it’s really about his love for movies and movie making.
Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2014 at 9:14 am
MichaelG, what an ordeal. Your description was so well written it triggered my own claustrophobia. Hoping for full recovery for you so you can enjoy your retirement.
alex said on April 2, 2014 at 10:00 am
I had a cervical spine MRI a few years ago but don’t remember the experience with great dread. It emitted bizarre noises but that made it all the more interesting. The only unpleasant part was having to lie still for a half hour.
As for the bleacher brouhaha, this is so Fox. Remember the “Ground Zero” mosque that wasn’t anywhere near Ground Zero and almost didn’t get built because of national outrage over heathen brown people defiantly putting a victory monument (and possible terrorist headquarters) atop the rubble of the towers “they” destroyed?
Connie said on April 2, 2014 at 10:43 am
I had a knee MRI some years ago, my problem was staying relaxed and not twitching. I had to go back for a second go around of one of the shots because I twitched. If I had it to do over again I would request a muscle relaxant.
So they offered me ear buds and the radio station of my choice. I took my local NPR station and ended up listening to the Diane Rehm Show. She was talking with an author who as a teenager had found his mother after her suicide. At one point the technicial rolled me out to ask me if I still wanted to listen to this depressing stuff.
Indiana folk, am I alone surprised by the move of Steve Alford to IU? I realize there is the home state/alumni connection, but If you could live up to John Wooden’s legacy or live down to Bobby Knight’s which would you choose?
Connie said on April 2, 2014 at 10:44 am
ignore the above final paragraph, I got April Fool’d a day late.
Bob (not Greene) said on April 2, 2014 at 10:58 am
Bob Knighht and Steve Alford. It’s not so far fetched: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/03/31/bernstein-ucla-hired-a-scumbag/
Kirk said on April 2, 2014 at 11:28 am
I couldn’t even handle an open MRI. Once they shoved that scanner about a micron from my nose, I broke out in a sweat and couldn’t breathe. A simple mask would have solved it, I think. The tech told me that, if I ever had to have another, to get a prescription for valium — an IV, not a pill. I had to have a more-complicated diagnostic procedure that involved injecting dye into my spine on a tilt table. Not a picnic, but it didn’t freak me out.
nancy said on April 2, 2014 at 11:31 am
My only MRIs have been of my beleaguered knees, so I didn’t have to be too enclosed. Let me add my support of Michael in this latest ordeal, and I hope you come out the other end smiling.
BigHank53 said on April 2, 2014 at 11:33 am
Ferrous metal, including body piercings, really only has to be taken out/off for the MRI. The X-rays used by the CT scan and the gamma rays in PET machines don’t care. But there’s no telling when a patient will get fed into the wrong machine or wander into the wrong room in the radiology department. And someone who is sure their eyebrow ring is titanium may well be wrong. I remember hearing about a case where a doctor who should have known better walked into an MRI room while carrying a steel lecture bottle, one of those little oxygen bottles about the size of your forearm. The magnetic field tore it out his hands and it struck the patient hard enough to kill him.
Charlotte said on April 2, 2014 at 11:45 am
RoGirl — I loved Hugo. We saw it on the big screen, with 3-D and it was just lovely. Haven’t seen Wolf yet, but we caught “Brother from Another Planet” last night on streaming and boy — I don’t remember it being as good as it was. Really terrific (and was Papa Pope from Scandal a hottie as a young man. Ooh boy.)
MichaelG — oh. ugh. May the chemo work and do less damage than it does good. All my medical stuff these days is canine. Ray went on New Years Day, aged 14, and the 12 year old, who is My Baby, is going down fast. I think the cancer they took off him is more systemic than anyone wants to believe. Can’t keep weight on him. Which is my answer to middle-aged weight gain. I might need these 20 pounds one of these days. They’re prophylactic.
mark said on April 2, 2014 at 11:47 am
Best and healing wishes to you Michael G. Your description of the MRI was well done. No scans here, so no scan stories.
MichaelG said on April 2, 2014 at 11:51 am
My MRI wasn’t 45 minutes straight. It went for a half hour, then they pulled me out for a minute to shoot some kind of dye into my arm and put me back for another 15 minutes. A veeery long 15 minutes. A mask and some music or NPR would have helped. Also good drugs.
Sherri said on April 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm
My doctor offered Valium, but then I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself. The mask really made a big difference. I really liked the place that let me bring my own music. When my migraines started coming much more frequently a few years back, I had to have an MRA, which they image the blood vessels in your head, which had to be done at the hospital, and all they could offer was ‘pick your radio station.’
Jeff Borden said on April 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Nice to see the Supreme Court has decided there wasn’t enough money polluting our politics. They opened the floodgates wide by the usual 5-4 vote. If you thought the spectacle of Republican presidential contenders journeying to Vegas to fellate a creepy-looking, orange-haired octogenarian who is more interested in Israel than the United States was bad, just wait. This is terrible news for progressives. We just don’t have as many gazillionaires as the right-wingers.
beb said on April 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm
The Supreme Court’s assumption that unlimited donations to politcal campaigns doesn’t bear the stink of corruption is about as naive as one can get. Roberts, Alito, Scalia Thomas and Kennedy ought to be impeached for gross stupidity.
Dexter said on April 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm
Today’s cover photo shows trash, unsightly ugly throw-away crap.
SO here’s what we do: $5 deposit on cardboard beer boxes and packing. Any tabs gone, no refund. Solo cups, 25 cents deposit, so they will have to be encoded with QR codes. Hot dogs will now be served on a plastic boat, QR encoded, $1 deposit. All cans, all plastic bottles, up the deposit to an even buck. Few people will throw away a whole dollar.
You will notice the photo shows no cans whatsoever, because last time I checked, Michigan had a ten cent bounty on them. At most ballparks, I have noticed round hole topped waste baskets for recycling Solo type cups, but with no return bounty, only Green People use them.
For drunks who sit in their $85 seats and drink beer after beer and piss back into the cups and dump them, and let it run down the seating deck floor, a noose. Go Detroit Tigers!
And to all you football geeks who always mark Opening Day with “Nobody gives a fuck about baseball anymore, football is 12 months out of the year the national sport”, go to hell.
coozledad said on April 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm
Never be surprised at a Republican or Republican appointee turd bobbing up a rich man’s ass.
It’s more surprising when they actually come up for air. These guys don’t even use the buccal pumping techniques of pearl divers and reef fishermen. They’ve learned how to breathe raw shit.
Dexter said on April 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm
nance…do you think the redhead in the forefront of the Marty Scorcese shot could be a young Frances Conroy, or do all redheads really look alike?
Kirk said on April 2, 2014 at 3:26 pm
BigHank@16: So did that actually kill a guy, or were you speaking figuratively?
Dexter#23: Amen re: opening day and football geeks
coozledad said on April 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm
Peggy Noonan, all misty for Reagan again.
The first sentence of her latest screed has the makings of an Edward Lear poem, if Edward Lear had been in the depths of an ether buzz.
People sometimes ask “What would Reagan think?”
and “What would Reagan do?”
I don’t understand this and tend not to play.
How would I know, how would you?
People sometimes ask “Could Hitler be a cat?’
And ‘Would he cover his poo?”
I don’t ride that hobby horse, except when I’m drunk
And I’m drunk as shit, how bout you?
People sometimes ask “Pegs, are you alright?”
And “Should we phone a cab?”
I tend not to hear this and drop off to sleep
And what you know? It’s rehab.
People sometimes ask “If Reagan fucked his mama’
The Pope, and the Dalai Lama
Would you still kiss his ass in the age of Obama?”
How would I know?
It’s just Karma.
Kirk said on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The company that is leading the legal challenge against birth control coverage under “Obamacare” offers its workers a retirement plan that includes investments in companies making contraceptive and abortion drugs.
Hobby Lobby Stores has a 401(k) plan featuring several mutual funds investing in pharmaceutical firms that produce intrauterine birth control devices, emergency contraceptive pills and drugs used in abortion procedures.
brian stouder said on April 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm
ROGirl – we all (Pam, Chloe the 8-year old, Shelby the 15-year old, Grant the 18-year old, and I) just watched Hugo two nights ago, and we loved it, too! It just goes to show that Scorcese doesn’t need to splatter blood all over the screen to make an inventive, affecting, and entertainingly enthralling moving picture show.
Dex (et al) – the tunnel/MRI stories will probably keep me awake tonight. Knock-on-wood, my health hasn’t been an issue since a case of mononucleosis knocked me off my feet and landed me in the hospital, 30-odd years ago. But even without that, the big tunnels on the PA toll road, and that underwater tunnel between Norfolk and the Delmarva peninsula unsettled me a little, back in the day.
And Cooz – you are the man!
I think the unlimited money thing is going to be a fad, and although it may take a decade or two (or three) it will be reigned back in. For one thing – Adelson would have done as well to simply burn that big pile of money he pissed away in 2012. Advertising can make the difference in a nuanced race, but it will fail to make silk purses out of sow’s ears like Newtie (pardon the non-Kosher reference)
brian stouder said on April 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm
btw – interesting photographic choices in today’s post!
If I was gonna add a photo, it would be of the flower in our side yard which is optimistically sprouting.
I believe it is a tulip…
MichaelG said on April 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm
We haven’t heard from Rana in a long time. Rana, you there? Give us a heads up.
Deborah said on April 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm
Coozledad, best one yet.
My thoughts too about Rana, Michael G. I miss her comments.
I had one of those crazy busy days where I spent most of it working on something I had no idea about until that minute, then it consumed everything and made me crabby as shit. I thought after I retired those days would be over. Of course not.
Dexter said on April 3, 2014 at 3:32 am
I overdosed on baseball with the free preview week, watching games from all around the country.
Now that I am caught up with the dental work, I have to begin “doctorin'” today, starting with routine blood work and a medicine check and re-up for the pills that I take to keep me ticking along. Yep.
BigHank53 said on April 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm
Kirk, it was a fatality.
Suzanne said on April 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm
Kirk #28. I saw this story as well. Already I’m seeing Facebook posts & articles saying that this isn’t a big deal, because the 401k is employee directed and so it’s none of Hobby Lobby’s business how the employees direct their retirement money. But every 401k plan I’ve participated in involved matching corporate finds, which means Hobby Lobby corporate funds would be directed into companies that manufacture the very drugs/appliances that Hobby Lobby says they won’t fund. Or am I missing something?