Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the month “September, 2017”

Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

I could tell you
Humanity is fucked.

That an extinction level event is a thing
We may see before we see our children’s children be.

Sometimes I pray for our extinction
I would beautifully explode, taking all of us
And it would be worth the price of the last admission.

The unwashed huddled starving desperate masses think politics
And TV news and fights are about them
Little things are tossed at them reluctantly, hushpuppies to sled dogs
Small mercies smuggled into fine print by a few, who give a shit enough
To hide them in an infinity of rotting pork
While fatcat smug suspendered reapers give the elbow, side-eye
Wink wink, smirk and nudge nudge.

And we think we’re comets, crazy stars with possibilities
The forefathers promised us, but worried secretly, so much doubt
About the human sky, we think it’s up
And don’t look down where possibilities go
To die

The actual sky instead, some imagination there
We watch, not knowing that it is not what we think that we might see
Aliens or dystopian postapocalyptic fantasies that movies weave
Those themes might not turn out better, but at least differently
Pieces of thoughts that aliens and designer diseases and EMP’s
Might bring a world where fighting, honor and strength might matter again
We are imagining disasters that might change something
Because we can’t handle the truth of infinite lies.

Things down here are always worse and stranger than we thought.
The news is real.
Reality is fake,
And terrifying if you look into it
Like the abyss that looks back into you, and the cynicism you’re fighting
Tangles with the abyss, and breeds hate and rage and despair.

How dare anyone tell the truth of power,
Look into the stagnant murk and rot of too much everything
The throways are unaware, no foundation to understand
Lies, immorality, chortling yachted privilege
Greed, atrocities of mind and deed
Lust for platinum power controlling clutching things

Lust for serfs is so very cheap
Seeking emptiness and numbing pain, but thinking it something else
The lonely, broke, and broken stare at screens of grotesque couplings
Shiny infinite porn: the new opium of the masses
Nervous fingers on a button that hides the screen
Watching fake people having fake sex; the nickel freak show at the circus
But with a happy ending.

Religion was a little better.

The covetousness of the highest castes, paid-for, so-important
A terrifying appetite for more expensive things than money or sex
Souls and lives and steering future history for gain.
A magic show where all the things are stolen
The magician waves the shiny girl and flips the house, and cooks deliciously on TV
And the foolish dream that joining the show could make them someone
When no one understands what someone means.

Tenements left so lethal that the land will be ripe for shiny towers soon
The sweating, scorned, and feared child soldiers make
Distraction, an immediate fear that turns heads anywhere but up
Swaggering bullet holes suck anger into places, except where anger should be sent
The sad tiny creatures scrabble, make warring villages that shouldn’t be
Between colors in shades of suspicion, to distract, and
Oil and grease the wealthy’s sanction of inner city war
Failure Castes our country swears it doesn’t have.

The new American dream is a Wreck and a Check,
A spin of a wheel and the transfixing banging bouncing ping-pong balls
More dreams: frantic scratching silver wax on cardboard in bodegas
Gambling, a tax on those who can’t do math.
An unlucky break, a death, blame the tired docs
Who couldn’t stop the will of any god, makes them
Cough up from coffers they haven’t had for years and years, and
Deep pockets of no-shitgiving insurance
Run by yachts and James Bond cars.
The lawyers keep almost all, of course, and live in biggish homes with hopes for bigger
But you might afford a new bass boat, or a shiny new TV to take your mind away.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; a poor man’s Vegas
Craves lustful tales of desperate debauchery, frantic to be lame enough for reality TV
But only your money stays in Vegas; the nightmares follow you home.

There is a Power’s lust for glittering gold, possession and repression
Even the lust is beyond poverty’s imagination
Although the poor swear they can imagine it.

Fast things.

Did you know you can buy a hundred thousand dollar sapphire razor
With free resharpening for life, of course
Sleek shiny conveyances with fins and tails and dual exhausts
Flashy place to flashier place, fast boring anytime sex
Where the only price paid by the rich for whores and pretty stuff
Are the hopes of the aspiring clutching underbelly
Grabbing on coattails of fame, or shiny new wealth, star-fucking
It is said that things are only given to those who could buy them easily.

Despite the desperate hopes of the empty wallets day to day
It is not virtue and hard work, but monsters who have all the things
Who are taking more, despite having all of it already.
Screwing over those already screwed
Nailing them to jobs where you actually have to work, and pay for the privilege
Of having no privilege and often no work, but you still have to pay.

Trapped and terrified and stuck where light is always a train and lortabs slow it down
And taxes and taxes and cigarettes by the case and cheap beer with a tinny taste
While real yachts and swinging flapper beads and artful fleeting ice swans are
But only in movies do the tragic cannon fodder see
Through a wavy looking glass, opulence more real than film can capture and display
Where true wealth and power are worth a thousand words.

No, a million words.

A million moving pictures.

A billion dollars.

But that would be irrelevant.

via Daily Prompt: Irrelevant


Extreme(ly Unpleasant) Camping: Part 2

Cold camping.  The cold one.  Ahhh, the cold one.

I was dating an attorney from Atlanta; let’s call him M.  Crazy things happened to the guy, all the time. He expected weirdness, and was seldom disappointed. Any bizarre occurrence that was dealt, he dubbed “M’s World”.  For him, shit just happened.  He bought a brand new Corvette, and a week later, hit a deer on a stretch of road in the woods. He had it repaired, and a couple weeks later, hit another deer. He had never before hit a deer. While heading out on a date one night, the guard gate at my apartment smacked down on the hood of his Corvette.  I said, “That’s weird. That’s never happened before.” He told me he had spent his entire life hearing those words.

We were planning a camping trip – whitewater rafting with a bunch of people I had never met. Destination: West Virginia, in early October.  I grew up in the South; it never occurred to me that cold might happen.

We brought my two dogs. Bella (the Italian Greyhound) was dumb as a freaking post. (I found out AFTER I got her that her breed is “remarkably difficult to housebreak”).  The dogs ran around the campground while we pitched a lot of tents around a communal firepit.  I kept an eye on both of them   Nymo peed. Bella, I didn’t see. I was hoping I had just missed it.

That night, it snowed.


It snowed about an inch. I woke up FREAKING cold, despite our air mattress and warm sleeping bags. M woke up freaking cold and WET.  We had run Bella around and around the campground the night before, hoping that she would settle down and pee. Having failed this simple task. Bella crawled that night into M’s sleeping bag (despite not being his dog) and peed all down his leg, and into his sock. When he woke, he rocketed out of the sleeping bag (into the snow, which we did not know was there), holding aloft a dripping yellow sock.  He had never before been so close to dog-icide. He also had not brought a spare pair of socks. Also his sleeping bag was wet. And he was standing on a bare foot, waving a yellow sock, surrounded by snow. Another yell about the presence of the snow.  The phrase “M’s World” was invoked frequently.

After M dissuaded himself from killing my dog (I wouldn’t have blamed him), we put on wetsuits and drove to the boat loading site. It had also not occurred to me that the WATER would be horribly cold. I figured it would be reasonably temperate, since it had recently become fall (in the South). Hell frick no. Water flowed down from the mountains, where there was already snow, and it was FUCKING cold.  So cold.  I can’t stand being cold.  Cold is like death to me.

Despite a full wetsuit, I shook uncontrollably, the entire time. Pre-boat, boat, and post- boat.  Water splashed by gallons into the boat. My hair was soaked. The wetsuit had turned into a sponge that held every drop of icy water. I was so horribly miserable, I prayed that we would hit a rock and I would be thrown from the boat, smashing my head, because death would have been a better alternative.

After an interminable amount of time, which felt fatal, we finished our ice luge and at last returned to the car, where I thought I would get warm. Nope. I hadn’t brought a change of clothes, and was drenched, and my teeth were clacking all the way back. Then, we had to get out of the car and trek back through the snow to our camping site, still clad in drenched wetsuits.  Death.  I swear, I wished for death.

I plastered myself to the campfire that night.  I wouldn’t get any farther away than three feet. When one side of me got painfully roasted, I would flip the other side to the heat. Flip. Smoke. Flip. Brrr. Leaving the fire for the tent was like being wrenched away from a friend.

We turned the sleeping bag inside out that night, so the pee part would be on the outside. Unsurprisingly, we were stinking and cold.

The drive home the next morning, with dry clothes, and the heat in the car, was the highlight of the freaking trip.

If driving home in the cushioned, warm comfort of a car is the best part of a camping trip, camping is probably not for me. Thus, I don’t camp any more. Ever.

And if I need more solidification of anti-camping sentiment, I’m also terrified of bears. Campsites have bears. I have no desire to be on the wrong side of anyone’s food chain, thank you very much.  I’ve had enough camping drama as it is.  I feel strongly that if I am ever stupid enough to camp again, I will almost certainly be eaten.


Extreme(ly Unpleasant) Camping: Part 1

Is it possible to have two worst camping trips?  This is a rhetorical question. It is possible.

This, Part 1, is the Hot One.  Part 2 will be the Cold One, which my loyal readers will eagerly await, no doubt.

The hot one was hot. And sticky.  And sweaty.  I was living in New Orleans doing my residency, and I was dating a talented painter from the Mississippi coast. For July 4th weekend, he proposed a double date. We and another couple would sail to Horn Island, an uninhabited island off the Mississippi coast, and camp there.  He loved that island, and he idolized a painter who had camped alone on the island and had done several series of paintings of it. His dad loaned B his catamaran. We would sail, and camp there, and watch the Fourth of July fireworks over the beaches of the Gulf Coast.

On a beautiful day, we sailed across the bay to the island, replete with camping gear and a good deal of beer.  En route, we spotted a pod of dolphins cruising with the boat. They seemed curious. B let me get on the back ladder, which was not locked down. The boat was moving at a good clip, and the ladder pulled out horizontally.  I held on to the bottom rung.  I felt like Superman, flying.  The pod swam closer.  I think they were wondering about this land-bound creature, swimming so fast. They swam next to me until we were close to the island.  I knew they wouldn’t hurt me. They were more brown than the grey I expected, and some had barnacles on them. Maybe they did think I was a superhero.  I was sorry when I had to climb back up.  In hindsight,  I was “drinking and laddering”.  If I had slipped off the ladder, how long would it have been before I was missed?  God, as they say, protects drunks, fools, and little children.

We anchored off a shallow spot on Horn Island and waded in with our camping gear. We pitched the tents, and found wood for a fire. In the height of summer, on an island in the Gulf of Mexico, the heat and humidity were oppressive. On the island, there was little wind, and it was stuffy.  I didn’t so much notice during daylight, because we were busy chatting, and walking around the dunes, and looking at the pools with crabs in them, and gathering burnable wood. Evening came, and we sat around the fire, which was inconveniently hot, and cooked hot dogs and marshmallows. The big fireworks were set off over the beaches.  We had a great view, and beer, and life was good.

Eventually, we found our way to our tents. I tossed, fitfully, and realized after a few hours that there was no way I could sleep –  I was miserable. There was a mosquito in the tent.  Mosquitoes don’t bite me much, but they love to fly into my ears.  NYEEEE  NYEEEEE!  SWAT!  And a miss.  SWAT!  There is nothing more fun than boxing one’s own ears to smash a mosquito.  I wanted to open the tent flap,, but I knew the mosquito wouldn’t fly out, but more would come in.  I was hot.  I was sticky.  I couldn’t stand it.  I got up quietly, unzipped the tent flap, crept out, and zipped it back before flights of Valkyrie mosquitoes came in.  I walked down the sandy slope to the dark water. I was going to get in.  It was SO freaking hot, even at night. The shallows were proverbial bathwater. The bay was as hot and humid as I was.  My hope was to splash water, and maybe when I got out, it would evaporate off my skin and cool me.

I was waded in waist deep, and was scooping water over me when B spoke behind me, as close as the mosquito, and much more unexpected. “Watch out for the swimming logs!”  At first I didn’t understand.. “Alligators,” B said. “They pass right through here all the time.”

He didn’t seem at all concerned, but my exit from the water was expedient and less than graceful.  I was now left with no respite from the heat at all, but at least I had not been a snack for gators.  We got a couple beers from the cooler, and some water and ice, and we splashed and drank.  It helped so very little.  We crawled back into the tent and when I heard the inevitable mosquito, I sucked my head into the sleeping bag like a turtle.  Way too hot, but no mosquito.  I put my head back out. Still too hot, but still mosquito.  Nyeeee… nyeeee… nyeeee

Too early and too late, we got out of our tents and begin packing up all the things.  It was a tad too early for beer. Not much, because we did live in New Orleans.  Everywhere else, people say, “It’s 5:00 somewhere”, when they want to make excuses for drinking early.  In NOLA, we say that it is noon somewhere. The bars there are open all night and all day.

It was much too much work in the sticky heat to pack everything up.

At last we were on the boat, and the breeze over the water helped a lot.  We were getting closer, close enough to see the people on the beach, and we were passing a small catamaran race.  Suddenly, the little boats were tipping over, one after another, like dominoes. B knew exactly what this meant.  He was scrambling, frantic, to get the sail down. A squall line had come up suddenly.  If he didn’t get the sails down before it got to us, we were tipping over too, cabin and all. Suddenly there was lightning, and grey sky.  He got the sail down in time, and for a moment, we thought we would tip over anyway.  We crammed into the cabin and closed the hatch, out of the driving rain and lightning, in case we we tipped over into the waves.  We were little comforted by our tiny shelter, knowing that that metal mast went all the way into the boat next to us. The waves were huge and tossed us, slamming us and tipping us almost horizontal. The girl began moaning about how seasick she was.  I was thinking how awful it would be to be trapped in a swooping cabin with vomit. I found Benadryl and made her swallow it. That stuff is a miracle drug, useful for nausea, motion sickness in humans, dogs, and cats, and anxiety, and sleep. I made sure to tell her that it was super for nausea, hoping for additional placebo effect.  And thank God, she didn’t throw up. The thunder and thrashing water continued much longer.

At last, the swaying slowed, and the thunder got farther away. We ventured one at a time to the deck of the boat, and put the sail back up.  Alas, there was now no wind in the wake of the gust front.  None.  We were in our own small Horse Latitudes. B tried to start the small trolling motor in hopes of getting us home.  It wouldn’t start.  We were becalmed.

We had a nauseated girl, a clueless guy,  me, irate and certainly cursing the universe, and B, who was very concerned that his motor wouldn’t start. No one was happy. Magically, the motor sputtered awake at last. We were able to choke and hiccup our way toward shore, realizing that we might run out of gas, or be overcome by oily gas fumes. At last, we caught some wind.  We docked MANY hours after we had expected.  Then, we were left with a messy, soggy boat.  B firmly explained to us that despite the fact that we were exhausted, queasy,  hot, and pissed off, one never leaves a boat unswabbed and messy,  no matter what.  Our ground-kissing had to wait until everything was dry, clean, and put away.  Theoretically, I understood that this was something we had to do.  In practice, I was very very pissed at the universe.

We were very quiet on the ride home.



Hello Again

My last post was January, 2015. What the hell happened that January? I feel like a manned space capsule at the beginning of an Aliens movie. ” The last communication of the SS Stork was 31.01.2015 (cue sinister music). The ship is believed to have simply vanished – there has been no explanation for the disappearance.  (cue image of screaming person in space helmet). Then a distress call was received…”

I have a date tomorrow morning. I found a writer’s group through MeetUp, and they meet about 30 minutes away, every second Saturday. I am going to make myself get up off my ass, go meet some like-minded writerly people (too freaking early in the morning) and write the shit out of something. There. I am committed. See you all tomorrow.

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