March 10th, 2005

Spitfire Kiss

Tom Jones, Hawaii and March Madness

How regional and topical a journal becomes! A choice of writing a love letter to one of my Milwaukee women, the insightful sage of the Los Angeles Times Sports Page, Diane Pucin; listing for my secretary the patients I have visited in the hospital or the clinics, so that ultimately, maybe, we'll get paid; preparing for the great spring pilgrimage to my Continuing Medical Education experience in Hawaii, buying those tennis balls, figuring out how the hell to use an i-Pod and the assorted paraphernalia I bought with it, including a voice recorder so that I can indulge my obsessive-compulsive disorder by re-listening to the many medical jems that are about to be cast, like pearls, before surgeons (that's an internist talking!) Choices and priorities!

It hardly pays to complain about a poor patient who doesn't understand what it takes to get an off-formulary item, like a citrate solution for him, to treat his renal tubular acidosis, when he can't understand why he should take the awful tasting stuff, and my Spanish, even with the ministrations of Miss Coesfeld at RHS, back in Chicago, leaves me short of palabras. This poor patient, not qualifying for MediCal (Medicaid in the other 49 states, a combination of federal and state funding for the medically needy) for reasons only known to the bureaucrats.... the folks whose job it is to enlarge the holes in the "safety net," .... the poor guy, not feeling very well after running out of his medication, and perhaps thinking that he already used up the bottle, so now he should be well, was instructed to go to a hospital where the doctor who covers for me is on staff.... so when I leave for Hawaii, there will be a nephrologist there to frustrate him in my absence. No one to take him to the hospital and there's a hospiital around the corner, so that ought to do, in his mind. So, who's going to look after him when I'm continuing my medical education? That could be the subject of another boring 500 words and result in expelling me to a medical Devil's Island. Remind me to tell you about Medical Services to the Indigent, or MSI, sometime.... well, I'll handle it.

Tom Jones, that great and sexy (at least to the ladies, and to my wife, who once took me with her to sit in the very first row, dodging panties and keys) singer of Delilah, and many others, was to accompany us to the beach,
first, as a surprise, to the lovely Lin, and, when I couldn't hold back, and told her about the i-Pod and stuff, as kind of a promise. He's coming, but probably as a CD. Somehow, I have to learn how to get him from CD to i-Pod, and I'm of a generation that felt challenged by Tinker Toys, Erector Sets and balsa and tissue paper model airplanes. Of course, son, Josh, will be there for the second week, and his job is to keep Boeing's satellites spinning in orbit and delivering appropriate electronic information to the distant mortals... a cinch for him!

Enough of priorities, Hawaii and Tom Jones. March Madness. We, Americans, if we are basketball fans, understand this laser sharp focus on our raison d'etre (That's for Miss Coesfeld, and June, if she ever gets here.)
The remainder is basketball, and Bruins specifically. Others may tune out. What the heck is my son, Dirk, doing these days? He's a fan of Arizona (Wildcats).... at least they're in the Pac 10! He also loves Syracuse (New York)... the Orangemen! Arizona plays California (home of the Bears, Rhea.... not the Bruins!) WE, are the BRUINS.... UCLA! Fight, fight, fight! Bruins understand this without further comment.

This is the first day of the Pac 10 tournament and at 2:50, FSNW will have the Bruin-Beaver (Oregon State) game.
The OC Register says the Bruins are a 5 point favorite. I make it out to be 3. I'll settle for a 1 point win. I think, should that major accomplishment occur, the Bruins will play the Wildcats, and, if past performances mean anything, lose, and lose badly. Of course, sports don't always follow the odds and every time you play, theoretically, you can win. I had a tennis career like that. I could never beat a guy named Mel, and was relegated to playing doubles as he was the guy I had to beat to play singles for RHS. I always had a chance, and I always lost, well, not quite, but that's another story.

Today, the Bruins must find an answer for David Lucas, whose father, Maurice, was an NBA star. We have Twin Towers, Fey and Hollins, and they each have strengths, but if we used 6 guys, Fey and Hollins to cover Lucas, we still couldn't handle him! He's good. Instead, Coach Howland will use one of the 2 and Dijon Thompson, a very fine forward, slightly miscast as a "strong" forward. Dijon is all Pac 10, as is Lucas, but Lucas is muscle and Dijon is finesse and speed, and that is the challenge! Of course, when you double team, you leave someone open, and Lucas has spent his life being double teamed so he's looking for the pass off to the guy who is open, and there's where team defense comes into play. Switching is essential. It's that easy. So, in theory, was beating Mel. He wasn't that tall, he just ran down every ball I hit and out-steadied me into tennis oblivion. Of course, though he is now a retired pediatrician in Fremont, CA, he won't be at the Mauna Kea, and now, at age 69, I'm nearly ready for doubles.

Hope I can post from Paradise!
  • Current Music
    My Little Grass Shack in Kala....

Halftime in a Disaster

The Beavers are up by 15. They are hitting 50% of their 3 pointers. Aside from Dijon Thompson, the Bruins are cold. Bruins 32%, Beavers 59.3% shooting... unless something changes drastically. Also about even on the rebounds and turnovers, so they're just shooting the lights out.

Reminds me of Pinckneyville plucking the Rough Riders in the Illinois State Tournament. A lesson in humility is coming!
  • Current Music
    Funeral Dirge

Beavers 79, Bruins 72

A deserved victory for the Beavers! The Bruins whittle a 20 point lead down to 6 before the Beavers regrouped, continued playing their game and won a deserved victory. The issue now is whether the Bruins will make the NCAA tournament, and it's a good, honest question. They would be the 4th team in from the PAC-10, and that doesn't always happen. I'd love to see them in the tournament, but it would not be a miscarriage of justice if they go to the secondary tournament, the NIT. Actually, they could win that one, and they are unlikely to go beyond the second round, but the NCAA is such an exciting tournament.

Meanwhile on the home front, I have 3 hospitalized patients to pass along to colleagues, including 2 at a hospital that requires a special favor. We shall see. Nothing is going to diminish the joy of this vacation. I have a day to pack, and the Canon postcard printer was found by that star sleuth, Conchita, who keeps my office from its perpetual centrifugal expansion. Somehow, it's sort of an astronomical phenomenon, with my stuff spreading out farther and farther until it reaches the trash cans, usually sped along by Lin. Another woman in my life had suggested that I simplify everything by living in a dumpster, which could be evacuated, weekly.

Well, the Bruins have left me speechless, so I'll read and pack. I may disappear for 2 weeks as the internet at the hotel is nearly $10/day.... that's a bit absurd. Hard to complain, though, when I think of the other rates for the food.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm

Gold and Blue.... Boo Hoo!

Pinckneyville still rules. The Gold and Blue went down today! Relax Rough Riders, this detour was a long way from Champaign. My other team, the UCLA Bruins folded in the opening round of another tournament, the PAC 10.

In the rare chance that one day, someone besides me will read this and post, I am announcing that Lin and I are off to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.... Hawaii. My excuse is Continuing Medical Education, and I still continue to work 7 days a week, if I have to, and it's because I still get a kick out of the clinical practice of medicine, the science, the doctor patient relationship, and the wonderful business expenses which permit this trip, and fuel and nourish my Porsche.

We've been to 18 of the last 20 meetings, sponsored by my medical alma mater, USC. We're in class for didactic updates in the medical sub-specialties and this runs from 7:30 to 12:30. The lecturers are selected for their liveliness as well as their relevance to their fields. And, like the RHS reunions, we run into people that we've known for 15 years and catch up on their lives.

Now if there were an actual community out there, we could arrange to meet some Hawaiian Rough Riders. I'm not ready to give up just yet, because this phenomenon, blogging, and journals on the internet, is exploding. The Class of 1953 just hasn't discovered this, yet.
  • Current Music
    Nature Boy